Epiphany of the Lord


By Fr. Chris Valka, CSB

It is a word we use all the time. . . epiphany. Though it is the name we give to the arrival of the Magi at the crib of Christ, it is also the name we give to an “ah-ha” moment in our lives. Translated, epiphany means to “show forth” and so we must ask what is being shown?

The arrival of the Magi recognizes Christ as a King and Prince of Peace, but I also believe this feast tells us something about ourselves.

I once read that the whole of the spiritual life can be summed up into how we show up, and I think this is often very true. We must challenge ourselves to remove the obstacles that prevent us from being surprised by God.

I believe the Magi offer us an example about how to do this. Just like them, we must go on a journey. We leave our places of comfort in order to follow an inner longing.

But we do need a guide – a star to follow. I think most of us probably have one, though we should ask ourselves if it is the right one? What occupies your free time? What do you read and listen to?   What do you talk about?

Perhaps the New Year can offer you an opportunity to find a new star to follow if you need to make a change in your life?

Once they arrived, we don’t know how long the Magi stayed with Jesus, Mary and Joseph, but we do not believe it was for a long time. The encounter with Christ does not have to be long, for it does not take long to change us; and it is because they are changed that the wise men from the East go back home a different way. Their path is different now because of the encounter.

How we show up – how we present ourselves to God is determined by our journey and by the “stars” we follow. You can see the difference in the characters of Herod and the Magi – and you can see the difference between those who believe they have God figured out and those who realize how little they really know about God.

May this year, be a year when you consider how you present yourself – how you show up and the stars that guide the longings deep within.