January 3, 2018
The Greek word from which we derive the word “epiphany” means manifestation or striking appearance. The feast of the Epiphany of the Lord celebrates the manifestation or appearance of God as a human being in the person of Jesus Christ. The gospel highlights how the magi from the east were drawn by the manifestation of God’s light, dwelling in He who is the Light of the World.
Like the magi, the founders of the Congregation of the Resurrection were drawn by God’s light. In their conversion they died to themselves in order that the Light of the World might live in them. The light of Christ worked to transform their lives, making them God’s instruments for the renewal of society, bringing Christ’s life and love to all people. Through their lives and service, Christ continued to manifest himself in the world. Blessed with this same charism, all Resurrectionists are called to repeat this same pattern of death to sin and resurrection to new life so that they can manifest the Light of Christ to our world through their personal vowed lives, their communal life, and their service in ministry.
This manifestation of living as a Resurrectionist religious is one of the many signs or “lights” that God continues to offer our world so that each person will be drawn to Christ. In this way, each Christian may, in turn, become one who manifests the presence of God in our world.
As the few verses in our second reading indicate, Paul’s ministry was devoted to including the Gentiles—those who were different from Paul and the Jews from whom Paul came. This highlights one particular way that all Christians might reveal or manifest Christ in our world—when we include rather than exclude others. Our world too easily divides people into “us” and “them,” “friends” and “enemies,” “lovable” and “unlovable.” As those drawn into Christ’s light, we are called to recognize him in the face of the “stranger,” seeing not one who is “different” but one who is our “brother” or “sister.” When this happens, darkness has ended and the light has dawned.