One of the great traditions of the holiday season is the music. I’m sure many of you have heard the song “The 12 Days of Christmas.” It is a classic. But not everybody is familiar with the real 12 days of Christmas. In the church, the Christmas season actually begins the day after Christmas and ends 12 days later. Today, on the twelfth day of Christmas, we conclude this wonderful time of year by celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany.
In celebrating the Epiphany of the Lord, we celebrate the revelation that Jesus was born as the Son of God. Today’s gospel illustrates this revelation through the story of the three wise men who traveled to visit Jesus following his birth.
They embarked on a journey of faith, following the star of Bethlehem until they reached the manger where Jesus laid. They brought gifts that symbolized their revelation of his divinity: gold, which associated Jesus as a king. Frankincense, which was often used in worship, to symbolize the holiness of Jesus. And myrrh, a perfume used for embalming, which symbolized that Christ would one day die for our sins.
As we start a new calendar year, it’s a time of rejuvenation for many of us. A chance for a new beginning. A chance to discover new things and make our own revelations. As the wise men in today’s gospel did, I encourage you to continue to follow your faith throughout this year. The wise men had a revelation that the Son of God was coming, and they were not afraid to follow their hearts. I hope that you too will not be afraid to follow your heart when you hear God’s call. As always, I will keep you in my prayers. May you spend your year joyously making new discoveries around every corner.