The Epiphany (the manifestation) is celebrated on January 6 (or on the second Sunday after Christmas). The feast commemorates the visit of the wise men from the East, who came to adore Jesus Christ, the tender infant in Bethlehem.

epiphanyChristmas is a feast of light and on the feast of the Epiphany the light goes out to the world. Jesus was born within his family, Saint Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Simple shepherds, members of his people, came to find the newborn infant in the manger. Up to this point, everything is intimate and internal. 12 days after Christmas, the Church remembers the visit of the wise men, who came from far away to adore the infant (Matthew 2:1-12).

The wise men represent the nations of the world. They followed a star because they did not have the Scriptures of the people of Israel which prepared the people for the coming of the Messiah. The star led them to Bethlehem and there they came as the first fruits of the faithful from among the nations of the earth who would believe in the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. When Herod was asked where the king of the Jews would be born, he did not read nature but rather asked the scribes who specialized in the sacred Scriptures. The Scriptures too point to Bethlehem but Herod does not go to adore because he sees himself as the king of the Jews and he did not accept the true king who has just been born.

The readings of the feast (the first reading from Isaiah 60:1-6, Psalm 72 and the second reading from the Letter to the Ephesians 3:2-6) focus on the light that reaches the nations. The people of Israel was chosen from among the peoples to be the light to the nations. The peak of Israel's vocation materializes in the giving of Jesus, son of Israel and the true light, to the world. The nations that come to adore him are also called to become light by their faith and their acts.