A Twelfth Day Consideration.January 6th, the “twelfth day of Christmas” is the Epiphany of Our Lord (though it will be celebrated on the nearest Sunday). In older times the Epiphany or “revealing” had a few more concepts than it does today. There was the Baptism of the Lord, the Wedding at Cana, The Visitation of the Magi, and The Nativity. In the west, these have been spread out a bit… The Nativity is now celebrated on Christmas day; The Baptism of the Lord on the Sunday after the Epiphany and The Wedding at Cana (Christs first miracle) the Sunday following. That leaves the Visitation of the Magi and their bringing the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, to honor the Infant. In the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches, they use the term Theophany, which in ancient Greek means “vision of God” and celebrate the Baptism of Jesus.
In all of the ways it has been, and is now celebrated, the epiphany comes down to the idea of revealing or disclosure. God reveals himself to Israel in the Nativity; and to the Gentiles at the Visitation of the Magi. God reveals His Son at the Baptism of Jesus and Christ reveals His own Divinity at Cana, turning water into wine.
As Christmastide comes to an end, the trees put away, the lights and decorations taken down, the New Year begun; we continue the journey of faith, with an epiphany in our hearts.