Celebrant: The whole world is called to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. Grateful for our faith, we now bring the Lord our petitions.
That the Church may tirelessly reveal the glory of Christ to all nations and peoples who do not yet know him, we pray to the Lord...
That the Manifestation of the glory of Christ will enable all nations to also recognize the sanctity of each and every human life, we pray to the Lord…
That missionaries may find new strength through today's Feast, and may enjoy the support of the Christian people, we pray to the Lord...
That God people may more deeply discover the mystery of the Eucharist, and worship the Lord as did the wise men of old, we pray to the Lord...
That the sick may discover in their sufferings a manifestation of the Passion of Christ, we pray to the Lord...
That those who have died may share eternal glory, we pray to the Lord...
we trust in your loving care.
Show us your glory,
deepen our faith,
and grant us your peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Life: An “Epiphany” of God
“Life is always a good. … Why is life a good? This question is found everywhere in the Bible, and from the very first pages it receives a powerful and amazing answer. The life which God gives man is quite different from the life of all other living creatures, inasmuch as man, although formed from the dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7, 3:19; Job 34:15; Ps 103:14; 104:29), is a manifestation of God in the world, a sign of his presence, a trace of his glory (cf. Gen 1:26-27; Ps 8:6). This is what Saint Irenaeus of Lyons wanted to emphasize in his celebrated definition: ‘Man, living man, is the glory of God’. Man has been given a sublime dignity, based on the intimate bond which unites him to his Creator: in man there shines forth a reflection of God himself” (The Gospel of Life, n. 34).
Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6
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The opening and closing prayer, the Preface, and the readings of today’s feast all work powerfully together to enable us to communicate the message of the sanctity of life. Epiphany is about “revelation” and “manifestation,” and that, of course is what Christ does. Not only does he reveal the Father to us, but he reveals us to ourselves. He shows us that this human nature of ours, that can be so troublesome and burdened, has in fact been renewed. The Preface proclaims, “You made us new by the glory of his immortal nature.” That, indeed is “the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel” that Paul proclaims to the Ephesians in the second reading. As an older Epiphany prayer says, it is a promise that God will draw us “to the life where your Spirit makes all life complete.” Death is no longer the final word for the human family, and this gift is shared not only by one nation or one people, but by all humanity.
The universal offer of God’s salvation extends to those still in the womb. Epiphany not only tells us that there are no national or ethnic boundaries to God’s call, but that there are no artificial boundaries between “born” and “unborn,” “wanted” or “unwanted,” “convenient” or “inconvenient.”
Moreover, the “epiphany” most needed in our time is the ability to see beyond the appearances of those who are smaller and weaker, and beyond the illusion created when some are declared “non-persons” under the law. Breaking through all this darkness and blurriness is the clear light of Christ, which shines on every human life without exception, bringing those lives God’s love and giving us the sacred obligation to love them as well.