IS. 60, 1-6; MT. 2, 1-12.
AT the point of today's gospel when the adoration of the Magi is spoken of by Matthew we suit action to the word and bend our right knees: "They prostrated themselves and did homage to him." In the presence of the Holy One we, the unholy, touch the earth. We emulate Mary who said that in choosing her, God had had regard for her lowliness. Now the word "humilitas" comes from "humus," "earth." Down we go in a brief interlude of honest self-evaluation.
In the Epiphany preface we pray to God: "Your only-begotten Son renewed us by the light of his own immortality when he appeared among us in the reality of our mortal nature."
He came to heal us of an heretofore incurable malady called death. He assumed a corruptible body so as to raise it up in incorruption. He lay low in straw that we might rise high in glory. The Easter mystery and that of Epiphany are all one with the Christmas mystery: "By dying himself, he has restored us to life."
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said to Isaac Hecker, later founder of the Paulist Fathers, at Brook Farm in Massachusetts: "Do you think I could ever become a Roman Catholic?"
"No," said Hecker.