Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Manifestation of God in the Flesh of This Man!

"In the beginning and before all ages, the Word was God
and he humbled himself to be born the Savior of the world"

(antiphon, Epiphany Week).

The full significance of Christmas is found in the celebration of the Epiphany (or "the Theophany," as it is know in the Eastern tradition).

This is the celebration of the manifestation of God to the world in the flesh of this man Jesus, who was born of the Virgin Mary. God manifested Himself to the world as a child.

Here is a rendition of the beautiful Byzantine icon of the Nativity, which I present for your contemplation. Perhaps it is good that I am neither prepared nor sufficiently energetic to attempt to explain it right now. Let it be thus, and let it show itself to those who dwell upon it:

The Western Christian Epiphany tradition places emphasis on the Magi from gentile lands, who travel by the light of a star in search of God's promise. Now the Three Kings have arrived at the end of their journey. Here is a picture of the Nativity Scene in the Janaro house (above) and the Kings at our parish church (below):

The parish church sanctuary continues to glow with the lights of Christmas:

What I would really like to do is give a shout-out to the unsung hero of the Three Kings' entourage, without whom they never could have made the trip:

The Camel!

May the light of Jesus Christ give you joy in this Epiphany season. It is good to begin the new year with the memory of the extraordinary and unforeseeable event that has happened in history, in real life, in real "space and time" -- the Infinite Mystery has come to dwell with us, to reveal and communicate His love.

God became human, took flesh, and gave Himself for us.

This event defines everything in history. It changes everything. It gives us an unconquerable hope.