The Epiphany of the Lord

The ancient Epic of Gilgamesh begins by describing a tyrant who was mistreating his people.  It says that he knew everything that had happened, and that he had travelled everywhere.  It says that he had all kinds of wisdom, even the most hidden, but that he had become weary, and that he was abusing his people.

Contrast that tyrant with the wise men of today’s gospel.  Today’s feast of the Epiphany celebrates them for going to great lengths to investigate the meaning of the star they had observed.  Had they ever become weary in their search?  We don’t know, but we do know that they found what they were looking for, and that they were overjoyed to pay their homage to the newborn king.

In the case of Gilgamesh, a rich education and a wealth of experience led the king to presume that there was nothing more for him to know.  It led him to weariness and to tyranny.  In the case of the wise men, their education led them to strive for more, and after they invested some time and labor, they found something truly great, which caused them to be overjoyed and to offer homage.

If you are stuck in the tyrant’s cycle (education and travel -> presumption -> weariness -> tyranny), you need God’s grace to get into the wise men’s cycle (education and travel -> seeking -> finding -> adoring).  May the true and most wise king, the one who sits on the throne and says “behold, I make all things new,” may that God grant you every grace and blessing.

January 8th, 2017