Feast of the Epiphany [a] January 8, 2017

Engaging Faith | Tue, Jan 3, 2017

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Education for Justice

Feast of the Epiphany [a]

January 8, 2017


Isaiah 60:1-6

Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6

Matthew 2:1-12



January 7: Orthodox Christmas Day

January 8: Epiphany of the Lord 

January 8-14: National Migration Week (

January 11: National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

January 15: 103rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees 

January 16: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day



“We belong to one human family. As such we have mutual obligations to promote the rights and development of all people across communities, nations, and the world, irrespective of national boundaries. In particular, the rich nations have responsibility toward the poor nations, and the structures of the international order must reflect justice.”

-Edward DeBerri and James Hug, Catholic Social Teaching: Our Best Kept Secret, 24

In the course of twenty centuries of history, the generations of Christians have periodically faced various obstacles to this universal Mission. Despite such adversities, the Church constantly renews her deepest inspiration, that which comes to her directly from the Lord: To the whole world! To all creation! Right to the ends of the earth!

-Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 50

The migrant is a human person who possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone and in every circumstance.

-Benedict XVI, 2010 Message for the World Day of Migrant and Refugees

Asylum seekers, who fled from persecution, violence and situations that put their life at risk, stand in need of our understanding and welcome, of respect for their human dignity and rights, as well as awareness of their duties. 

-Benedict XVI, 2011 Message for World Day of Migrant and Refugees

There has been a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation.

-Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 25

Small yet strong in the love of God, like Saint Francis of Assisi, all of us, as Christians, are called to watch over and protect the fragile world in which we live, and all its peoples. 

-Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 216


Thoughts for Your Consideration

Pope Francis writes for the upcoming World Day for Migrants and Refugees: “Migration today is not a phenomenon limited to some areas of the planet. It affects all continents and is growing into a tragic situation of global proportions. Not only does this concern those looking for dignified work or better living conditions, but also men and women, the elderly and children, who are forced to leave their homes in the hope of finding safety, peace and security.”

The celebration of Epiphany reminds us that we are all one family. The magi are not Jews, but they seek the Christ as do the Jewish people. Christ is a light for the whole world.  Christ calls together the whole world and all its peoples.  Christ calls for a healing of divisions and openness to learn from all people.  Christ calls for a just world order – trade policies that respect the economic opportunities of all people especially the poor – environmental policies that respect the world that we all share together – spending policies that respond to human needs – investment in human needs rather than the weapons of war – a world that lives in an environmentally sustainable way -- a greater equality in sharing the fruits of our work and our earth -- a hospitality to refugees and migrants.

The Feast of the Epiphany invites us to celebrate the wonderful reality that Jesus came as a light to all people, not just to some subset of the human race. Thus, the categorical exclusion of anyone contradicts the good news of Jesus Christ.  Racism, stereotyping, discrimination, xenophobia, Islamophobia, ethnic violence, extreme income & asset inequality are all wrong.

The behavior of Herod reflects the behavior of one who is afraid. The news about a new child to be “king” threatens his kingship. Rather than learning from the wisdom of the foreign visitors, he is afraid, and seeks to destroy what they came to discover. 

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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