The Greek word you see above is epiphaneia, meaning "manifestation" or "striking appearance." Today is Epiphany - a favorite holiday of mine ever since I experienced the epiphany that such a holiday existed. This day was one of the countless treasures added to my spiritual life when we entered the Catholic Church.

This year I learned something new about Epiphany. Not only is it a celebration of the magi's adoration, but according to the Catechism (#528), it also includes Jesus' baptism and first miracle at Cana - three key moments in Christ's life when his divinity was revealed. In meditating on these events, I tried to put myself in the place of those first eyewitnesses, and had a small epiphany of my own.

What were the witnesses doing when the "light broke upon them?" In the case of the magi, they were seeking. They watched for signs, and when they saw the star, they took a long, difficult journey to follow it. The witnesses at Jesus' baptism were coming to John the Baptist for repentance and purification from their sins, and the servants at Cana were standing ready to obey (even so strange a command as Jesus').

Hidden here is a lesson for the soul who desires to see Christ manifest. To whom does Christ reveal himself and in what circumstances? First, he makes himself known to those who seek. The wise men didn't know exactly where they would find the king or what he would be like, but they pursued what light they had from the star. Because of this, they were blessed with a greater Light. Today, many souls are timid. They don't make a pursuit because they don't know exactly where the journey will end, or they are afraid of where it will lead them. But just as God protected the magi from Herod, he will protect you; just as he gave his son to them as a human child, so he will give himself to you.

Second, Christ reveals himself to those who repent and come for baptism. At the Jordan, these were the people who heeded the voice crying in the wilderness, who acknowledged their sin and need for salvation. Not only did they see Jesus, but they heard the very voice of God coming down from Heaven. If you humbly approach the sacraments you will also see Jesus there and hear the words of God proclaimed through the Scripture.

Third, Christ reveals himself to obedient souls.The servants at Cana may not have understood why they were filling the jars with water, but they did it. They were probably afraid of the master's reaction when he tasted it, but they brought it to him. So you may be afraid to follow the command of Christ, but what marvels will be in store if you do!

Seek, repent, and obey and "the dawn from on high shall break upon you."

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