This Sunday marks the end of our Christmas season. This is the feast of the epiphany and we listen to the story of a visit by some travellers from the east to Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus.
The word “Epiphany” in ancient Greek means “a showing”. The great event of the birth of the Son of God is shown, not just to the people of Israel, but to people from other places; people of other ethnic origins and people with different beliefs. In other words, the author of this Gospel story wants everyone to understand that God’s gift of Jesus is a gift to all human beings.
These visitors from the east represent us. We live in a country that was undiscovered at the time of the birth of Jesus. Only the original inhabitants of this land were living here. They were people belonging to many different nations, all with a royalty, dignity and deep spirituality.
St Matthew, in writing this story about the visitors from the east, symbolically describes people bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Son of God – The symbols of royalty, dignity and sacredness. The author is saying that people from the furthest corners of the world; like our aboriginal people and like us are able to recognise the specialness of Jesus as the saviour of all human beings. God’s gift of Jesus is for people everywhere and all we are asked to do is to acknowledge who he really is.
This feast immerses us in a wonderful truth about the human race. We are all equal in the eyes of God and we are a royal, dignified and sacred race of people because of the coming of Jesus. For this we give thanks today!