In the Ordinary Form of the Mass today is the Epiphany –the Manifestation of the Lord by the visitors from afar, the Three Kings. The point of this feast is not the Three Kings bring gifts per se but the recognition of unbelievers in a monotheistic God coming into human history. The gifts brought to Jesus indicate the reality of the receivers life and mission: Jesus is king, he is divine and he will face a cruel death. The very interesting fact of these wise men is that read the signs in the cosmos and with their reason concluded that Jesus was divine and human, God incarnate. The cosmos –the stars– were all in alignment pointing to the revelation to the nations.
The Extraordinary Form of the Mass maintains the feast of the Epiphany on January 6th; the Eastern Christianity calls this feast Theophany and celebrate this year, today.
Saint Leo the Great reflects:
The loving providence of God determined that in the last days he would aid the world, set on its course to destruction. He decreed that all nations should be saved in Christ. A promise had been made to the holy patriarch Abraham in regard to these nations. He was to have countless progeny, born not from his body but from his seed of faith. His descendants are therefore compared with the array of the stars. The father of all nations was to hope not in an earthly progeny but in a progeny from above…Dear friends, now that we have received instruction in this revelation of God’s grace, let us celebrate with spiritual joy the day of our first harvesting, of the first calling of the Gentiles…This is the day that Abraham saw, and rejoiced to see, when he knew that the children born of his faith would be blessed in his seed, that is, in Christ.
On Epiphany 2015 Pope Francis said this:
Coming to Bethlehem, the [Magi] found “the child with Mary his mother”… This was their second great temptation: to reject this smallness. But instead, “they fell down and worshiped him”, offering him their precious symbolic gifts…. Led by the Spirit, they come to realize that God’s criteria are quite different from those of men, that God does not manifest himself in the power of this world, but speaks to us in the humbleness of his love. The wise men are thus models of conversion to the true faith, since they believed more in the goodness of God than in the apparent splendour of power.
What do see in Jesus? Is he our Savior, the Lord of Life, the Messiah?