Jesus is the Fulfilment of God's Promise
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ reinforces the central reality of His Incarnation: God has been made visible in the person of Jesus. The glory of the Lord shines through for us. But this feast builds on Christmas by extending the light of Christ to all people. Jesus has come as the anointed Son of God, not just the anointed savior of the people of Israel. St. Paul states this quite poetically in our second Reading today: “the mystery…[of salvation] has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s promise to all people. God is the only true God, and Jesus is God here for us.
This reality is reflected in the words of the Eucharistic Prayer, the words spoken by Jesus at the Last Supper and re-presented at every Mass to make Jesus present in the Eucharist: “This is the Chalice of My Blood, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.” This “for many” is an extension of the Covenant beyond the people of Israel. It is not the blood of a mere lamb painted onto the doorposts of Hebrew slaves in Egypt at the Passover; It is the inclusion of every tribe and nation in God’s promise of deliverance. While the descendants of Abraham enjoy a special role in the Covenant as those first chosen to live in close relationship with God, we are all now invited into membership in the Body of Christ.
For those of us who have been privileged to be fully initiated into Communion with the Body of Christ, the Church, we are invited to receive Him bodily in the Eucharist. We dare to approach Him, to become thrones for his majesty as we hold him in our hands, to become tabernacles for His Presence when we consume Him, to become His Presence for the world when we are sent forth in His Name. The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ continues in us each and every time we receive Him in the Eucharist.
Peace in Christ,
Father Matthew Kuhn