It is common to hear the word “epiphany” thrown around – it can be used to describe anything from someone declaring that they have some great insight about their future to something as simple as discovering a quicker route home. As with anything, the word can lose its meaning when constantly used in such a variety of circumstances. In any instance, we use the word to acknowledge that we have received some sort of newfound clarity.
In the case of The Epiphany, which the Church celebrates on January 6th, the three Magi received a sign that they were to go and worship the newborn Jesus. In that moment, God revealed Himself to the Magi in a very real way and they were never the same. This event that transpired some 2000 years ago means one very important thing for us: God is continually revealing Himself to us.
The reality of Epiphany gives us the privilege of seeking God, just as the Magi sought (and found!) Him so many years ago. Although most of us will never receive a bright star in the sky, we all have a Savior who not only came to us as a baby, but from the beginning of His life chose to reveal Himself to all who choose to seek Him.
For us, this means having the courage to seek God in these everyday epiphanies. The reality of the Gospel is that God is constantly revealing Himself to us – in our relationship with our friends & family, our work, and the world around us. We are called to do what the Magi did – to take in our experiences, look up and see how God could be using it to change our hearts.
Part of the beauty in the story of the Magi is that they were forever changed because they chose to not only follow the path that had been set out for them, but they were willing to let the presence of God change them. This us something that we can learn from – no matter what state we are in life, the promptings we receive from God will always be clearer when brought to God in prayer.
Everyday epiphanies are meant to remind us that God is working in a real way not only in our lives, but in our world. And just as the Magi travelled in a pack of three, we will find these everyday epiphanies with the companionship of others. God uses whatever He can to show us His will for our life, and this great feast of the Church is proof that the Christian life is often clearer when walked with other people.
The challenge for us is to go forward as the Magi did – not following a star, but choosing to seek and find God in every part of our lives. By actively searching out these everyday epiphanies, we will receive that clarity we so desire, as well as accomplishing one of the most important tasks of the Christian life: putting ourselves in the presence of God.
Lauren Scharmer is a senior at The Catholic University of America and is active in retreat and youth ministry in both the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington.