January 7, 2013 - First Day after Epiphany

1 John 3:22 -- 4:6
Psalm 2:7-8, 10-12
Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

Yesterday we celebrated Epiphany, which is a word I am rather fond of. I like having epiphanies, the sudden realization of a hidden truth. Like one time I had an epiphany about how well peanut butter and ice cream go together.

We are going to celebrate the Epiphany all week long, and of course this refers to “the” epiphany. The hidden truth was that Jesus was God. All the people who knew him had an opportunity to have this epiphany. Whether it was when they saw him turn water into wine or when they saw him baptized and the heavens opened and God spoke, there must have been a moment when they realized that this person whom they had always known was something more than they had ever expected. For St. Peter it was when the nets were full of fish. Simon Peter had known Jesus for quite sometime before that, but it was when he saw the nets that he had an epiphany: this man is God.

This epiphany is something we have in our lives too. Certainly we know that Jesus is God from the time we are taught that in preschool, but then there is a moment in our lives or often several moments where we realize that this is all true and we realize how significant it all really is.

This is why John tells us that the commandment of God is that “we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ.” This commandment was never so much spoken in words as revealed in an epiphany. “I must believe that he is God, because he is God” John thought to himself one day.

Today when Jesus hears that John has been arrested, he goes to Galilee. Some people probably thought that he was just trying to get out of town. Rather, he knew that it was time for him to be revealed to the world, so he went to the northernmost point in Israel and worked his way down to Jerusalem where he would suffer and die. All along the way leaving a trail of epiphanies as people realized that this man was not merely a prophet. That he was not merely what they had expected. He was more than all that. This is a truth that cannot be simply told. It has to be realized.