By: Sister Jeannine Marie, O.C.D.

“Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Our light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.”
Isaiah 10:1

Today the Church celebrates the great feast of the Epiphany, our God manifesting Himself to the world. Is this important? Well, we have journeyed together preparing for Christ and have just finished relishing the unfathomable mystery of God coming to us as man, Emmanuel. Not as a warrior, or a king, but as a tiny babe. He comes to us safe and approachable – we need not fear. We have a God who is one of us; one who knows our suffering and pain; one who walks with us daily. Yet, already this tiny babe has revealed His divinity—the extraordinary Star which arises from the East.

Our God is at once one with us and yet totally other! This wonder and awe are demonstrated in the players of the Epiphany story. An inexplicable star arises in the sky and is witnessed by both the mighty and the lowly. Three wise men from the East are mesmerized by this celestial wonder. Surely this must manifest someone mighty and powerful, a king. And at the same time, a band of poor shepherds witnesses the same manifestation and they both find not a king but a tiny baby. This is our God, not “either-or” but” both-and!”

Such a star appears in the heaven of our souls as well. It is the same God inspiring and urging us from within. Like the Magi, we too must follow. At times it may come during the simple occasions of life like the shepherds. At other periods, it may come to us dramatically as it did to the Magi.  The question–will we follow? This is the reason for the Epiphany. God wants us to know that He not only walks with us; He guides us. He is simple yet mighty. It is no wonder the Church prays:  

“May the splendor of Your majesty, O Lord, we pray,
shed its light upon our hearts that we may pass through
the shadows of this world and reach the brightness of our eternal home.”

May we all follow our Star!