Rise Up Church

Written by Dr. William O’Leary

The word ‘epiphany’ means a sudden insight or thought into the deeper meaning of something. What is that “sudden insight or thought into the deeper meaning of something” that the Lord wants us to see? The first reading today from Isaiah calls us to: 

Rise up in splendor…Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you: your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses. Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.

God revealed something utterly new at the Epiphany of the Lord to the Magi: that the “Glory of the Lord”, which is His presence and favor, was not only shining on the Jews but had now come to shine also on the Gentiles who are you and me.  The Lord came upon His people and He remains upon His people even today.  The promise of a Savior not just for the Jewish people, the Israelites, but for all mankind. Let us be, as Isaiah calls us to be, “radiant at what you see” (Is. 60:5): the Lord Jesus who is the Word made flesh, He is the dawn from on High that has come forth and shined His radiance upon us (cf. Lk. 1:78)! How can we not be affected?      

How are you living in that radiance that God has given to you?  Do you live out the gift of your Baptism as a bonafide child of God who is a part of God’s family and living each day to respond as His daughter or son?  

Epiphany is that call for you and me to do something new!  New in ardor, means and expression of our faith.  Let us reflect this week upon this “sudden insight” of what was revealed to the whole world at the visitation of the Magi to adore the savior of all the nations.  What deeper meaning is the Lord Jesus inviting you to enter into as we celebrate anew the Solemnity of the Epiphany?   

Finally, as Isaiah exhorts, may “your heart…throb and overflow, for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of the nations shall be brought to you.”  A heart that loves Christ and that yearns to live out her/his identity as a follower of the Savior of the world is a person who’s heart throbs and overflows with the inexhaustible riches that the Lord pours out upon us.  Together people of God, together women and men of Ascension let us live in these truths and allow that which the Lord has spoken to us today revive our hearts and compel them to radiate our identity in Christ to our family, our friends and to all we come into contact with from day to day!

Dr. William O’Leary is the Pastoral Associate of Youth Faith Formation , here at Church of the Ascension.