The word Epiphany means “manifestation,” and it has passed into general acceptance throughout the universal Church, from the fact that Jesus Christ manifested to the eyes of men His divine mission on this day.
First of all, when a miraculous star revealed His birth to the kings of the East, who, in spite of the difficulties and dangers of a long and tedious journey through deserts and mountains almost impassable, hastened at once to Bethlehem to adore Him and to offer Him mystical presents, as to the King of kings, to the God of heaven and earth, and to a Man withal feeble and mortal.
The second manifestation was when, going out from the waters of the Jordan, after having received baptism from the hands of St. John, the Holy Ghost descended on Him in the visible form of a dove, and a voice from heaven was heard, saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
The third manifestation was that of His divine power when at the marriage-feast of Cana he changed the water into wine, at the sight whereof His disciples believed in Him.
Reflection. — Admire the almighty power of this little Child, who from His cradle makes known His coming to the shepherds and magi — to the shepherds by means of His angel, to the magi by a star in the East. Admire the docility of these kings. Jesus is born. Behold them at His feet.
Illustration and text from Pictorial Lives of the Saints With Reflections for Every Day in the Year (New York: Benziger Bros., 1922).