The Epiphany of the Lord
Hard to calculate these things, of course, but it was likely just under 2,000 years of history since God spoke to Abraham, and gave him the promises that, believed by Abraham, led to God’s formation of a Chosen People, Israel. Two thousand years is a considerable stretch of time, by any standards. English settlement of North America is roughly one quarter of that time, and much has happened since the Pilgrim Fathers began their attempt at creating a New Jerusalem on our shores. Most Catholic Americans trace their ancestry back considerably less than that time.
Time is the medium through which God works His durable miracles, spectacle to men and angels. It was in the “fullness of time” that Jesus was born, after the Chosen People had gone from promise to slavery to glory to captivity and exile and back to simple waiting, now a conquered, occupied nation. For the “glory of the Lord” had departed from Israel, it certainly seemed. And even with their promises, Israel was not the only people who knew something of God, for all humans are created in the image and likeness of God, and there is a yearning in the human heart that only God can still.
Those who are aware of that yearning are, indeed, wise men: and once you become aware of that hunger for God, you begin to look for Him anywhere, and you come to realize that everything less than God is simply not enough. And so it was with the wise men from the East who set out following the promise of a star, representing those of us chosen to know God from among “the nations.” Today, we celebrate God’s revelation to them – to us – God’s reward for our hunger, for our seeking, for our searching. For our fasting from the things of earth and sense, in favor the things of God. God’s revelation to our faith, the faith of our father in faith, Abraham: the promised land in the flesh of the babe of Bethlehem. Come, let us adore Him.