The feast of Epiphany is a celebration of the fact that Christian life looks like something. Because Jesus has appeared on the earth and taken our own human form, because he has walked among us and lived our life and died our death, we know what the Christian Way looks like. We know that the Christian life consists of embracing our humanity, with all its weaknesses and imperfections. We know that it consists of living our own lives well, mindful of the needs of others, forgiving as we have been forgiven, and spreading the light of the Gospel wherever it is that God puts us. The Galileans in the synagogue in today’s Gospel were amazed at Jesus’ speaking words of grace. We too are called to witness in such a way that all will recognize in us the presence of Christ.
This is urgent because we know that Christ is still manifest among us. Every encounter with someone else is an opportunity for Epiphany. It is an opportunity for us to look for the presence of Christ in that other person, and for them to see Christ at work in us. How we do that depends on the situation, certainly, but it must always be our top priority if we are eager to be called Christians. John’s words in the first reading are clear, and are words of indictment on those times we forget to be the Epiphany to others: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”
Christ is made manifest in all of us and among all of us. In the ordinariness of our lives, we can find Christ’s grace abundantly blessing us, or we can reject it. If we make it our priority to be Christ’s presence in the world in every encounter with a brother or sister, we may find that we are blessed with epiphany upon epiphany, constantly growing in God’s grace. This is all part of our faith, of course, and it is this faith, as John tells us, that conquers the world.