Epiphany refers to the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles represented by the magi. In this Sunday’s gospel we are presented with a contrast between three figures: Jesus, Herod the Great, and the magi who journey into the night in search of not merely a sign from God, but rather the Christ Child himself, the “newborn king of the Jews” (Mt 2:2).
Today the Catholic Church celebrates The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It’s no accident that Jesus was born into such a human family, a holy family that itself was the first Christian family who dwelt in the first Christian home.
The saints teach us what the meaning of life really is. By their unique deeds and words, they show forth the love of God in its radiant depth and beauty, and point us toward not simply the fullness of living in the here and now, but the goal of every human person: eternal life in union with God.
The readings of today’s liturgy emphasize one simple truth of our Catholic faith: sin damages us and others. It has serious long-term consequences—even those of an unending, eternal duration. Sin can lead to that terrifying reality we call hell.
Who do you say that I am? asks Jesus. It’s the question above all others. The way we answer this question will echo into eternity. It’s a question of life and death. It’s a question about everything.