LIGHT OF THE WORLD
Epiphany can be understood as an extension of the Nativity of the Lord that we celebrate on December 25. While at Christmas we celebrate Jesus’ coming as the long-awaited king and Messiah of the Jewish people, on Epiphany we celebrate the revelation that Jesus is the Savior and Light of all nations—Jews, Gentiles, and all people.
The star shines so brightly that it attracts magi who come from far distant countries to worship Jesus. They are not Jews, yet they are drawn to the Light of the world. The letter to the Ephesians reveals that the Light of the world was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews—Christ gathers all people into the light of his love. The reading from Isaiah also describes a gathering of diverse peoples, but this time it is to the light that emanates from the people of God.
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First Reading — Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! The LORD shines upon you and the glory of the Lord appears over you (Isaiah 60:1-6).
Psalm — Lord, every nation on earth will adore you (Psalm 72).
Second Reading — The mystery has been made known that the Gentiles are coheirs, copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel (Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6).
Gospel — Magi from the east arrived, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:1-12).