The wise men in the Gospel stand for us: the people of the world to whom the light of God’s love is revealed. In our Gospel story, people are drawn to that light by a star moving and by angels singing. And when they arrive at the stable they see the love of the all-powerful and infinite God revealed in the innocence and vulnerability of a baby lying in a manger.
Pope Francis, in the passage from ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ I’ve put inside this newsletter today, reminds us that Jesus gave his disciples the task of continuing his work of revealing the love of God to all people.
People today have no moving stars or singing angels to show them they are loved by God: they just have us. By the way we are with each other when we gather together to hear God’s Word, to sing his praises and to receive the Body and Blood of his Son, and even more by the way we are with others when we leave the church building, we are called to reveal God’s love for everyone, especially those who are weak or vulnerable.
St Teresa’s famous prayer puts this very clearly: ‘Christ has no body now but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours: yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world, yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.’
The prayer that is said quietly over the water and wine at every Mass says the same thing in more theological language: ‘By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity’.
The feast of the Epiphany celebrates the revelation of God sharing our human life so that all people can share the life of God for ever, a revelation that means human life can never be the same again. God’s life is in us, we just have to let it show.