Epiphany—The Feast of Light
The Gospel of Matthew frequently references Old Testament prophesies in order to help the believers see and understand that the plan of God is being fulfilled. We find that the prophesies also have meaning for us today.
“…By the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." (Mt 4:13)
These words by Isaiah restated in the Gospel of Matthew pertaining to the baptism of Christ, help instruct us on the beginning of Christ’s ministry and speak to us as we navigate our lives. So often we feel as though we are in darkness; darkness in understanding, darkness in relationships, darkness in society, darkness in faith. This does not mean we exist in total darkness, but oftentimes we feel as though we live in the shadows, what Isaiah refers to as the ‘shadow of death’, not feeling fully engaged or noticed. This feeling is disconcerting especially when we contemplate our relationship with Christ and His Church. Perhaps the darkness we feel is because we question our beliefs. Perhaps the darkness comes from an uneasiness with our relationships with fellow believers or with Christ Himself. Perhaps the uneasiness is a result of the expectations of the society in which we live.
These feelings are complicated, and yet, there is hope as we celebrate the feast of Epiphany. In the feast of Epiphany we find the beginning of Christ’s ministry and the revelation of the Holy Trinity, the voice of the Father, the presence of the Son in Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in the descending of the dove from the heavens. This revelation is the light that has dawned. The darkness that envelopes our lives is dispelled by the light of the new dawn. All of our weaknesses, our insecurities, our lack of understanding is lessened because we now awake to a new dawn, one of hope and love, one of patience and kindness, one of understanding and encouragement. Through the Epiphany of Christ, the ‘light has dawned’ and our lives are rejuvenated, our faith is strengthened. May we enjoy the new dawn and may our lives be filled with the light of His hope.