Solemnity: Epiphany of the Lord

The Epiphany of the Lord

When the calendar turns to January, one traditional greeting is extending well-wishes to loved ones, for them to prosper in the new year. Catholics, of course, share this sentiment.

But on January 1, Catholics also reflect on the solemnity of Mary, the mother of God. It is also World Day of Peace, a day to pray for peace.

Days later, Catholics also recognize the Epiphany of the Lord solemnity. It is most often celebrated on the Sunday between January 2-8. In 2017, the Epiphany of the Lord was observed this past Sunday. The Epiphany is the feast of the manifestation of the majesty and divinity of the newborn savior.

Father Matthew Spahr, a 1983 USD alumnus and the pastor for the Catholic Diocese of San Diego’s The Immaculata Church, located on the USD campus, provided a short synopsis from his homily during Mass on Jan. 8 that spotlights the Epiphany of the Lord.

“In the first reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, the Prophet describes a feeling we have all had, when "our hearts throb and overflow." Hearts throb and overflow in times of great joy, in times of great loss and sadness and in suffering, in any experience that is more than we can bear at the time. Those three experiences: great joy, sadness and suffering are all elements of the Epiphany story,” Spahr said.

“There is great joy in the mystery of the Magi's visit, sadness in Herod's inability to accept the Good News that is Jesus' birth and the foreshadowing of suffering in Herod's ultimate response. Perhaps our hearts, which were made for eternity, throb and overflow whenever God is near. Certainly, the Incarnation teaches us that God is indeed near whether in joy, sorrow or suffering. Let us attend then to those moments when our eternal hearts throb and overflow as signs of the "epiphany," the manifestation of our God.”

— Ryan T. Blystone