Epiphany is the Christian feast that celebrates the Incarnation and in particular the revelation to mankind that God took on human form. It is curious then that in the West we typically associate January 6th with the three wise men. It is true that these men from the East represent man’s discovery of the Messiah, but they weren’t looking for the Son of God. In fact, the Jewish people had been waiting nearly 2000 years for their savior but they were only expecting a great king, prophet, or priest. It is somewhat ironic that the Magi traveled so great a distance on faith yet they failed to see the greatest mystery before their eyes. Simeon and the prophetess Anna also realized that the prophecies were being fulfilled and that the Messiah had been born when they saw Jesus in the temple, but the full revelation was not made known to them.
“We Celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord on January 6. Come, Let Us Adore Him.”
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem saying “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.’
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem saying ‘Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.’ When they had heard the king, they they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.”
– The Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter Two, Verses 1-12
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“The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world. The great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. In the magi, representatives of the neighboring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of the salvation through the Incarnation. The magi’s coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be the king of the nations. Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship him as Son of God and Savior of the world only by turning toward the Jews and receiving from them the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament. The Epiphany shows that ‘the full number of the nations’ now takes it ‘place in the family of the patriarchs,’ and acquires Israelitica dignitas (are made ‘worthy of the heritage of Israel’).
– Catechism of the Catholic Church, 528
The Twelve Days of Christmas – A Special Sale Only at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods!
Please visit our website everyday of the 12 days of Christmas to see what category is on sale that day only! Each day a special item, related to the theme of each day of Christmas, will also be deeply discounted.
What are the Twelve Days of Christmas? The Twelve Days of Christmas and the associated evenings of those twelve days (Twelve-tide), are the festive days beginning the evening of Christmas Day (December 25) through the morning of Epiphany (January 6). The associated evenings of the twelve days begin on the evening before the specified day. Thus, the first night of Christmas is December 25–26, and Twelfth Night is January 5–6. This period is also known as Christmastide.
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