Saturday, January 06, 2007

Happy Feast of Divine Revelation

This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany. By happy coincidence, the vigil Mass falls on the traditional date of this feast. (No, this is not another rant on the moving of holy days. Scroll down to "What the #$#^ were they thinking?" for that.) I don't think most people appreciate just how profound and important this celebration is.

Most people think of the Magi when they think of Epiphany and well they should. But, there is a deeper reality that this event points to. The collect of the day reads, "Father, You revealed Your Son to the nations by the guidance of a star. Lead us to Your glory in heaven by the light of faith." The preface reads in part, "Today You revealed in Christ Your eternal plan of salvation and showed Him as the light of all peoples. Now that His glory has shone among us You have renewed humanity in His immortal image." And the Communicantes of the Roman Canon for Epiphany read, "In union with the whole Church we celebrate that day when Your only Son, sharing Your eternal glory, showed Himself in a human body." On Epiphany we celebrate the definitive 'showing', or revelation, of God to man in the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I came from a religion where revelation was not finally. At any moment, a new revelation could come along and change any or everything. But it is not that way for Orthodox believers. "In many various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days He has spoken to us by a Son, whom He appointed heir to all things, through whom also He created the ages. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of His nature, upholding the universe by His word of power." (Heb. 1 1-3) In the person of Jesus, God shows the entire world, Jew and Gentile, who He is, who we are, and how we may get to Him. Jesus did not come only to die for us, but also to show us God in His own person. (The Second Vatican Council teaches on this in a beautiful, profound was in Dei Verbum.) This revelation is complete, final, and prefect. Nothing may be added or subtracted from it. This revelation is entrusted to Holy Mother Church and she guards it and passing it on the each generation of believers.

This is why heresy is such a pernicious sin. It pretends to alter or correct the perfect revelation of Christ. Whenever someone dissents from the Faith, subtracts from , adds to, or changes Sacred Scripture, they distort the true image of Christ which He gives to us through the Church. Often times to the extent that they create 'Another Christ' through 'Another Gospel'. (This is why Mormonism is not Christianity.) As for me, I want to know the Real Jesus. The one who lived and is present to us in and through the Church He founded while He was on Earth.

And so today, we celebrate the beginning of this prefect showing of God to the world. Therefore, let us pray for the grace to show what has been shown to us to the world.
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