The Epiphany (2023)

This was written for the January 5, 2023, stated conclave of Worth Commandery № 19, K∴T∴, but not delivered due to illness.

Sir Knights,

Tomorrow, we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany. This is a time when we remember the wise men who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn King Jesus. As we read in Matthew 2:1-12, these wise men came from the East, following a star that led them to Bethlehem. There, they found the child Jesus with his mother Mary.

But what can we learn from these wise men, and how can their journey speak to us today? Isaiah 60:1-6 speaks of a time when the light of the Lord will rise upon his people. The nations will come to them, bringing gifts of gold and frankincense. This passage foreshadows the arrival of the wise men, who brought these gifts to the newborn King.

But the wise men brought more than just physical gifts. They brought a message of good news, the praises of the Lord. They recognized that Jesus was not just a human child, but the savior of the world. They knew He would be the one who would bring light to the nations, and bring salvation to all who believe in Him.

Psalm 72 makes a prophecy of a righteous king who brings peace and prosperity to all nations. Among other things, the Psalm foretells the gifts that Jesus received as an infant! The wise men’s gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh symbolize their honor and reverence for Jesus as their King. By bringing these gifts, they fulfilled the prophecy of the psalm!

The arrival of the wise men was not just a momentous occasion for Jesus and his family. It was a moment of great significance for the entire world. In Ephesians 3:1-12, Paul writes that the coming of Jesus was part of God’s plan to bring salvation to all people. This salvation comes to us no matter who we are, or where we’re from. 

Paul speaks of the mystery of Christ, which has been revealed to all people through the Gospel. The mystery is that all people are fellow heirs of the promise of salvation in Christ. The Spirit made this truth known to the Apostles and Prophets. Through this gospel, the wise men recognized Jesus as their King, even though they weren’t Jewish.

As we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, let us remember the wise men and the gifts they brought to Jesus. Remember: the coming of Jesus was not just a momentous occasion for his family and for Israel. It was momentous for all of us. May we, like the wise men, recognize Jesus as our King and bring him the honor and reverence he deserves. May we seek to bring the Gospel’s good news to all people. May they, in turn, experience the unsearchable riches of Christ.