“We saw his star and have come to do the king homage.”
In the East, this Season of Christmas is called the ‘Time of Manifestation’, or Showing. Today is the ‘Feast of the Manifestation’, or the Showing of the Saviour to the whole world, to all nations. In the wise men who travel from the East, we see all the nations other than the people of Israel being welcomed at the New Temple of the New Covenant – the new born child in the manger. A look at the Psalm response shows this: “All nations shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.” The same is true of the key word in the second reading: “Revelation”. Remember that for the people of Israel this was to be their Messiah, come to restore their fortunes. By this feast, we proclaim God’s plan was to extend his salvation to men and women of every nation, of every time and every place – including us. In many ways this is our Christmas Feast, when we celebrate the Good News of the Saviour’s birth revealed at last to us.
O God, give your judgement to the king, to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice and your poor in right judgement.
In his days justice shall flourish and peace to the moon fails.
He shall rule from sea to sea, from the Great River to earth’s bounds.
The kings of Tarshish and the sea coasts shall pay him tribute.
The kings of Sheba and Seba shall bring him gifts.
Before him all kings shall fall prostrate, all nations shall serve him.
For he shall save the poor when they cry and the needy who are helpless.
He will have pity on the weak and save the lives of the poor.
First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6
Second Reading: Ephesians 3: 2-3, 5-6
Gospel: Matthew 2: 1-12