Feast of the Epiphany 2016

Posted on Updated on

Wisemen and baby jesusReflection for the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6th 2016*

*(In some countries the Epiphany is celebrated on the Second Sunday after Christmas, January 3rd 2016 – see reflection below)

A principal memory of the feast is of the wise men (Magi), bringing gifts.  To Mary and Joseph they brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Epiphany_StarThey also bring gifts for all time.  Not just the gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but wisdom.  They had a certain type of wisdom or common sense.  They followed their star, sent their way by God.

Think today on who have been your guides, just as the wise men met wise and not so wise guides on their way.  In simple and big ways: people who may have re-pointed out your star to you as you went a bit astray, drank too much, dabbled in drugs, unsatisfying relationships, or made a total goal out of money, or being persuaded into a wrong job; and then people who have helped us keep our dream alive, like the ones who kept the wise men on the right path and helped them home: people who gave good advice, loved you at a bad time, a book or a sermon, or warned you against different ‘Herods’,  and others who pointed out a new way, like the angel who said to them to go back a different way.

May we be grateful for guides on our path, and be as best we can wise guides to others. as best we can wise guides to others.


I am the star that guided the wise men to Jesus.
I was delighted to get this job from God.
God gave me the light and I guided them from the East,
Over the desert, through towns, over the sea.
I was so bright that they saw me during the day.
I brought them to the crib – to Mary, Joseph and the child.
I’ll never leave them – I am the light of God’s love.

Donal Neary SJ

Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger


*Gospel Reflection for the Second Sunday after Christmas, January 3rd 2016

(In some countries the Epiphany is celebrated on this day).

Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available.


In the beginning was the Word:
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be,
not one thing had its being but through him.
All that came to be had life in him
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.

A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
as a witness to speak for the light,
so that everyone might believe through him.
He was not the light,
only a witness to speak for the light.

The Word was the true light
that enlightens all men;
and he was coming into the world.

He was in the world
that had its being through him,
and the world did not know him.
He came to his own domain
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to all who believe in the name of him
who was born not out of human stock
or urge of the flesh
or will of man
but of God himself.
The Word was made flesh, he lived among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory that is his
as the only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John appears as his witness. He proclaims:
‘This is the one of whom I said:
He who comes after me ranks before me
because he existed before me’.

Indeed, from his fulness we have, all of us, received –
yes, grace in return for grace,
since, though the Law was given through Moses,
grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God;
it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart,
who has made him known.

John 1-1-18


We live in a season of lights – candle lights, Christmas lights, lights on the street and on the houses. Ads the season is still with us, we can ask what light enlightens our lives? What light do we live by?

Jesus is presented as an image of the true light.  His gospel shines light into our lives, and lets our light shine.

We live by the light of Jesus by listening to his word, living by his example and in prayer.  Pope Francis recommends: Today, for example, ‘read the Gospel, picture what happens, and say something to Jesus. And nothing more. And so your knowledge of Jesus will be bigger and your hope will grow. Do not forget, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.’

An open book glows brightly and reveals a globe of the world.

We allow his light shine in us by watching him in the gospel and trying to live his gospel of love as he spoke it. The word of God is not just a series of human words, but a Person who is the Son of God. We find this light in prayer.

Later in his ministry, Jesus will speak of letting our light shine. The light within us from God is not just for ourselves but to be shared for others.  We can switch on God’s light for each other in speaking about him, praying with each other, taking part in the Mass and in any service we do for others, close to us and those far away.

That is the light of Christmas, if we can shine this light for a few days, why not for the rest of the year?

Let your light O Lord Shine within me, and let brighten the lives of those around me.

Donal Neary SJ

Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger


One thought on “Feast of the Epiphany 2016

    Rita said:
    January 1, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.