Radio in London

January 5, 1968

The word “Epiphany” means manifestation. . . . . At the festival of the Epiphany 4 events were commemorated — the Nativity of Christ, the adoration of the Wise Men, Epiphany, i.e., the Baptism of Christ, and the marriage in Cana of Galilee. In early times these four feasts were not appointed to special dates. They were kept around the 6th of January. The Nativity and Epiphany, apart from meaning manifestation, apart from being manifestation on earth of God come to His people, revelation of the divine glory, but at times hidden and at times revealed, it speaks to us also of the significance of man. If the incarnation is possible, it means that man is capable of entering with God into that incredible relationship, that man is great enough to be the dwelling-place of God, to be made into a god by adoption, by participation.

In a the Feast of the Epiphany we see several things. On the one hand, the revelation of Jesus come to be baptized, to St John the Baptist, and by him, to the people. And on the other hand, it is the moment when the man born in Bethlehem and who is also the incarnate God, has come as a man to full maturity, becomes a dwelling-place of the Spirit and begins his mission on earth. All this shows us what man can be.

In a way, every revelation of God every manifestation of Him is also a revelation of man, in the same way in which a stained-glass window is revealed to us by the light beyond but at the same time reveals to us the light which is behind it. Is it surprising then that we rejoice in such fulness of exaltation when we see that what was begun in the night of the Nativity, the coming to earth to God, fulfilled on the day of Epiphany, when we see what a mature man is, what we are called to he and what each of us can become by the grace of God because God has become man Himself.