“Hodie celebramus”: a pastoral epistle for Epiphany 2023

Carissimi

Today we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a day of great solemnity in the Church that marks the climax of the Christmas season and commemorates the theophany or revelation of Jesus as the Messiah, His Incarnation and His Divinity.

In the traditional Roman Rite we commemorate three “epiphany” i.e. revelatory events over eight days of solemn liturgical observance. Having already commemorated the Nativity of Our Lord, itself revealing the Incarnation, we extend the celebration to the remembrance of three further events that likewise reveal the true nature of Our Lord and His purpose to the world.

In the first instance, we remember the Magi, wise men who followed a star to Bethlehem and worshipped the Infant Jesus, presenting Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (St Matthew 2:1-16). They recognized Him as the King of Kings and bowed down in worship before Him. Let us follow their example by seeking out Our Lord Jesus in our daily lives and committing to living a life devoted to Him.

Epiphany also commemorates the “Great Theophany” or revelation of the Most Blessed Trinity at the Baptism of Our Lord by St John the Baptist in the river Jordan (St Matthew 3:13-17). We are reminded of the tremendous mystery of the Holy Trinity and God’s infinite love and mercy for us and our baptism. Let us strive to live lives that reflect God’s love, mercy, and grace.

Finally, Epiphany commemorates the first miracle wrought by Our Lord Jesus at Cana in Galilee, when He changed water into wine, a prefigurement of the Eucharist (St John 2:1-11). This miracle is a reminder of Our Lord’s power to transform our lives and the world around us. Let us turn to Him in faith and pray for His grace and power to work in our lives.

Let us give thanks today for the revelation of Our Lord Jesus as our King and Saviour. May we be inspired by the example of the Magi to seek Him out daily in our lives and the commemoration of His baptism remind us of our own baptism, and recommit ourselves wholly to Him. May the remembrance of His transforming miracle at Cana, transform us into His true ambassadors of reconciliation and peace.

In these times of disquiet and global uncertainty politically, financially and socially; let us recall the Incarnational miracle of Bethlehem and the transformative miracle of Cana, as we turn to and realise the fulfilment of Our Lord’s promise to be “God with us” (St Matthew 1:23) “until the end of the world” (St Matthew 28:20) and worship His continuing revelation to us in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

With my prayers for you all this feast day,

I.X.

Brichtelmestunensis
In Epiphania Domini MMXXIII A.D.

Oremus

Deus, qui hodiérna die Unigénitum tuum géntibus stella duce revelásti: concéde propítius; ut, qui jam te ex fide cognóvimus, usque ad contemplándam spéciem tuæ celsitúdinis perducámur. Per eúndem Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum. Amen

O God, You Who by the guidance of a star this day revealed Your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; mercifully grant that we who know You now by faith, may come to behold You in glory. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.


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