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Today we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany. Rooted in the journey of the Magi or “wise” foreigners who came from far in search of this divine child whose life, death and resurrection would change the world. Epiphany is visible manifestation or an experience of sudden insight or revelation.  The story of the Reyes Magos reminds us that the divine presents itself in unexpected, even offensive places. It reminds us the work of God centers those at the margins: Jesus was born into a vulnerable socio-political reality. Good news of great joy was announced to the worker. The revelation of the new King and liberator was given to outsiders, in a way that redefines the people of God. 

Thank God for the offensive and liberating message of Jesus. Think for a moment not just about the people in the story, but about the people HEARING this story for centuries before us. Narratives are not simply used to convey truths, they are a medium of provoking emotion and imagination. The subversive nature of the narrative is about who gets to know about the Messiah; women, shephards, and now foreigners are the ones to whom the mystery is revealed. 

The beauty is given to those who are socially marginalized. In spanish, these “wise men” are called Reyes Magos or “Wizard Kings”. They are not Jewish priests or spiritual leaders from within the community, which is highly offensive to the Jews, and probably very comforting for those who find themselves newer to the faith.  These Persian priest astrologers have no preconceived notions of the Messiah, no inculturated boxes in which to restrain him. They are open to the mystery while the religious establishment declines the liberator because their answers are so secure they have no room to worship the deliverer. 

This season invites us to respond to the calls of Jesus: “come and see”, and “go and tell”. As activists we can often forget that our creator is interested in relating to us. Jesus invites his followers  “to be with him, and to be sent out” (Mk 3:14). An Invitation and command are given to us in this season:

  1. Encounter God
    1. Center marginalized voices in your scripture reflection and worship and prayer 
    2. Look for the ways Jesus modeled forgiveness and humility.
    3. Identify communities and people that are modeling the love and justice of Jesus. 
  2. Exhibiting Jesus: 
    1. Our lives can point to Christ in many ways-our care for neighbors, our integrity at work, our hospitality at home, our generosity with money, our service to the poor, our concern for justice, our practice of forgiveness, our joy in worship, our hope in suffering. 
    2. All of these reveal Christ’s presence in our lives. Jesus stressed two things: Proclaim the good news and demonstrate the good news.


Read: Luke 4:14-30

Name: What are the responses people had to the revelation of Jesus identity and work?  Think about what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you in the past year? How have you responded? 

Listen: Our Psalm 23, Sharon Irving

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