Over the past 500 years, we children of God have lost our innocence; what we used to revere as “mystery” we now try to explain into simplicity. The Old Testament figures and their lives of Faith are a thing of the past. God’s glorious and great manifestations—the Exodus, David’s conquests, the walls of Jericho, etc.—belong to ancient history. Even the miracles of Jesus too often appear as mere stories we read at church every day. In our world of science and technology, everything has an explanation; there is no “mystery.”
Yet, science still cannot explain how gravity works. It still struggles to understand the nature of light that acts in both transparent and solid ways. Even as we unravel the genetic mysteries of our own bodies there remains so much that is mysterious and beyond our understanding. It’s no wonder that our spiritual realities go unnoticed and ignored by our culture. There is no room for the transcendent but, God still exists and He is still active in our lives. “Mystery” is real! Jesus is real! His Glorious Light still shines and He continues to act in our world through His followers, His Sacraments and His Church. We have only to open our eyes and SEE!
Once again the themes of Light and Glory dominate our Liturgy of the Word. God has come into the world in a way never before known by humanity. His Glorious Light from the Star of Bethlehem led the Magi to the infant Son of God and son of Mary, a child both human and divine, a mystery that still defies explanation. His Glorious Light shines in the faces of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the animals present at the scene. It shines, too, from homes decorated with lights.
The secular world defines “epiphany” as: a sudden and intuitive perception of, or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some commonplace occurrence or experience. We have all heard the expression, “he/she had an epiphany,” referring to a sudden eye-opening understanding of something of which the rest of us were already aware. The Epiphany, however, is still for us a mystery, more Glorious and Enlightening than the simple.
Christ is present in our Church, our Sacraments and our hearts. We need only open our minds, our eyes, our ears and our souls to the Glorious Light of His many “epiphanies” that are present to us every day of our lives.