Feast of the Epiphany


2022 Homily

“Although they were Gentiles,” writes Fr. Vincent Hawkswell quoting the Catechism, “the magi had come to Jerusalem ‘to pay homage to the King of the Jews,’ the one who would be ‘King of the nations.’ “ (Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP/Flickr)


“Salvation is from the Jews”



Recently, chatting to a Jewish repairman, I referred to “the chosen people.”

“Why would God choose one particular people?” he replied.

From “all the nations,” God “chooses Israel,” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says—but “with a view to healing the whole human race.”

That seems to be God’s way: choosing and thus excluding, but with the design of including everything.

“At the heart of the divine act of creation is the divine desire to make room for created persons in the communion of the uncreated Persons” of the Trinity, says the International Theological Commission.


JANUARY 1 HOMILY: Mother of God and Our Mother, Too


The Challenge of Gifting

O.P. | 2022

Taken together, the three gifts reveal both who this child is and what he is destined to do. We might describe them as token gifts in the best sense: they betoken or symbolise something more than their immediate use; they point us to a deeper future significance beyond any immediate utility.

Morning Star

O.P. | 2019

This star stands for (and, in a sense is) Christ: it is at the rising of the star that the Magi set out in search for the infant king of the Jews.

Why the East, you might ask? There are several answers to that question. “The East” is a suitably generic term. There is an awful lot East of the Holy Land; if you went west from Bethlehem, you soon just hit the Mediterranean, the sea at the centre of the known world, and the Roman Empire which stretched along its shores. East was where other peoples – known and unknown – lived. There were a lot of them then, and even more now…

I wouldn’t want to suggest that the magi themselves should be likened to the troublesome figures of that region – Saddam Hussein, or the Ayatollah Khoméini, or Osama bin Laden – on the contrary, the Magi are traditionally venerated as saints. But it is this troubled part of the world, these lands where there has been so much suffering and violence, which are particularly represented by today’s visitors to the Christ child. And through them all of sinful and suffering humanity is represented.

Guided by a Star, Drawn on by Hope (2021)
The Feast of the Epiphany (2007)



Way-stations on the Path Leading Home



Wherever we’ve lived, regardless of how many places we’ve called home, all of us, everyone of us, is on a path home to a place we’ve not yet even visited. And just when anyone of us might think,  “Ah! NOW, I’m home!”  Or,  “Now I know the way home!” Just then might the Lord (who is always calling us home) just then might the Lord say, “Well, there been a change in plans.  You’re still heading home but we’re going to get there – by another way…” Whatever the path, no matter how many the twists and turns, the ups and downs; no matter how many changes in the route; no matter how many different ways home; the Lord walks with us, every step along the way and never more certainly so than when the way home is burdensome, difficult and painful.

RELATED: Imagining What the Magi Said On Their Way Home…



The Missing Magi


Moving things is risky. Whenever we start shifting things around, there is always a chance that something will be misplaced, or broken, or lost. Our parish offices went through a major move this year. They had to be relocated with all of their contents into our new administrative wing. Records and items which had been in storage for years, were carefully repackaged and carried to their new locations. The entire move came off without a hitch. Or at least that is what we thought, until Christmas came. Because as we began to unpack the pieces for our church Nativity scene, we discovered that one figure was missing. Somehow in the move, one of the Magi was either misplaced, or lost, or stolen. We searched everywhere, several times over. But despite every effort, the missing Magi was nowhere to be found. Now a replacement is already on order, but it will take months for delivery. So if you visit the manger scene today on this Feast of Epiphany, the day that we remember the arrival of the three kings, you will notice that one of them has not shown up.



Living Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
Mud or Stars
Fleeing as a Virtue
Politics and Religion


Jesus is Revealed as God



Jesus is revealed as God.  This is the meaning of Epiphany.  Jesus comes as a baby born of Mary.  Founding the belief that this was truly God born of flesh necessitated an extraordinary revelation.  Some of us have types of spiritual experiences in which we come to recognize what God is asking of us.  Some of us never have those types of experiences.  Yet, all of us are called to seek to live as fully and completely as we can in this life.   What is both marvelous and ironic is that this revelation of Jesus is the new New Thing that always was and forever shall be.

To coin a phrase at the end of the last century before the technology bubble burst in Silicon Valley in California, authors and reporters were hungry to discover the next wave of technology, or the new New Thing, and the next wave of successful entrepreneurs.  This drive to discover, like contemporary magi, led many down wrong paths with doomed businesses and business owners.  People realized during that heady time that what was revealed was not always trustworthy…or true.  Certainly not epiphany.



You Shall Be Radiant At What You See


Have you ever noticed that there is a lot of walking and journeying in the Christmas story? We have the calm and silence of the manger scene but before, after and all around that is almost constant movement. The angel Gabriel is sent to announce God’s plan to Mary. Once Mary gives her “yes” we are told that she sets out “in haste” to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Joseph and the very pregnant Mary have to journey to Bethlehem to register for the census and because of Rome’s census the whole world seems to be in movement! Then, once the child arrives, the small family has to flee to Egypt for protection! The shepherds are told to leave their flocks in order to see this newborn child and the three magi arrive from the east searching for the newborn king of the Jews and once they encounter him they are told to return home by a different route. The only one who seems incapable of movement is King Herod sitting on his throne and grasping onto power in suspicion and fear.



Following Bees and Following the Star
A Story by Franz Kafka
The Fourth Gift of the Magi
The Legend of the Three Wise Men


The Wise Still Seek Him



I have a favorite story for adults for the Epiphany. Not the Gift of the Magi or the Fourth Wise Man, stories I love telling the children, but the story developed from an essay by the famous English author of a hundred years ago, G. K. Chesterton. G. K. Chesterton, wrote a wonderful essay on three modern wise men. These three heard that there was a city of peace, a city where there would never be wars or disturbances. The men wanted to live in that city, but to do so, they had to past a test. They had to present themselves at the gates of the city with gifts to demonstrating that they belonged there because they were men who would ensure the continual peace of the city. So they journeyed to this wondrous city with what, they were sure, would be gifts that would guarantee peace and earn them admission into the city.




Loving with God’s Love



BAPTISM OF THE LORD (January 9, 2022) — The deepest need of every human being is to be loved – and to love in return. There is no other human emotion or reality that is more important than this. Infants and children who are not loved, may atrophy, die, or become badly damaged as human beings. Not to be loved adequately, can lead to almost every kind of obsession or addiction imaginable. On the other hand, people who have always been loved are, usually, well integrated human beings. There is a wonderful balance in their lives. And they see life itself and reality with a very broad perspective.



Lead Us to the Light, Lead Us to the Truth



Saint Augustine wrote, that our hearts are restless until they rest in God. Pope Emeritus Benedict in his homily on this feast describes these wise men in this fashion: “These men who set out towards the unknown were, in any event, men with a restless heart; driven by a restless quest for God and the salvation of the world.  They were filled with expectation, not satisfied with their secure income and their respectable place in society. They were looking for something greater. They were no doubt learned men, quite knowledgeable about the heavens and probably possessed of a fine philosophical formation. But they desired more than simply knowledge about things. They wanted above all else to know what is essential. They wanted to know how we succeed in being human. And therefore they wanted to know if God exists, and where and how he exists. Whether he is concerned about us and how we can encounter him. Nor did they want just to know. They wanted to understand the truth about ourselves and about God and the world. Their outward pilgrimage was an expression of their inward journey, the inner pilgrimage of their hearts. They were men who sought God and were ultimately on the way towards him.”


CHRISTMAS HOMILY: True God of True God


The Child Must Draw Us

HomiliesSUNDAY WEB SITE | 1997

There is a wisdom in the openness of a child, an insight in its vulnerability. A child must trust us and rely on our fidelity. A child teaches us to forgive and to ask forgiveness. A child seals and expresses our love, our commitments. A child shows us how to play again, how to laugh, and how to hug.

Children draw us together at their baptisms, their first Communions, their graduations. We are proud of them, happy for them. We go to their endless ball games, cheer for them, ache for them, heal their hurts, celebrate their victories. We thrill at the one line they may speak in their first play, the halting melody at their first recital. “A little child shall lead them.”


Walking Through New Year with Hope


In the feast of Epiphany we celebrate the generosity of God who, in his son, reveals the salvation that he offers to the entire humanity. Jesus, though born in a specific area and among a particular people, Jews, nevertheless, his life-giving mission is destined to all. Hence, he reveals himself as King and Light of the world. Let’s rejoice indeed in this bounty of God. How can this serve us as springboard to help us enter, and live through, this new year with faith and hope?

We have just begun a new year, and our phones are still loaded with messages. Indeed, we have been busy with our phones texting greetings to our dear ones, especially wishing them good health, joy, happiness, prosperity -in short, everything good we desire for those we love. We too have been receiving similar messages. These wishes express what we value and desire for ourselves and for others. But, in a way, aren’t we just exposing ourselves to deception?

YouTube player

2019 Homily

In the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine: Celebrant & Homilist: Rev. Andrew Fisher; Guest Choir: Our Lady Queen of Peace Gospel Choir, Washington, D.C.

Sunday Homilies

JAN 2, 2022 | JAN 6, 2019 | JAN 3, 2016 | JAN 6, 2013 | JAN 3, 2010



YouTube player


Is Science Opposed to Faith?

Friends, the supposed warfare between religion and science is assumed by a lot of young people who disaffiliate from the Church today. But the Magi followed both science and religion, and on the basis of their calculations, journeyed to present Christ with gifts. Their science didn’t lead them away from God but led them toward faith.

Sunday Podcast Archive
The podcasts on this page are from the archives of Bishop Barron who has been doing them for over 20 years. All of the podcasts below relate to this Sunday Readings.


by Bishop Robert Barron . January 3, 2021 .

For Epiphany Sunday, we hear the marvelous story from the Gospel of Matthew in which the Magi journey to see the Christ child. This scene has beguiled artists, poets, and preachers for centuries. But we can distill five profound spiritual lessons—about being attentive, taking action, facing opposition, giving Christ what…


by Bishop Robert Barron . January 5, 2020

Today’s readings for Epiphany speak of a light that shines on Israel, the chosen people, but that is meant for the whole world, a light that is a beacon summoning all the nations. And that Light is Jesus Christ himself. As the prophets predicted, this Light is the illumination of…

YouTube player
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, shares thoughts on preaching pro-life on the Feast of the Epiphany.
Father Frank Pavone

The Ability to See Beyond Appearances


Is 60:1-6
Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6
Mt 2:1-12

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 have renewed humanity in his immortal image.” That, indeed is “the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel” that Paul proclaims to the Ephesians in the second reading. As the alternative opening 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.


General Intercessions

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’s 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.

Bulletin Insert

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” (St. John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, n. 34).).

SOURCE: Priests for Life

Life Issues Homilies

Lifeissues.net website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

The Infant-King’s First Missionaries

Al Carino

As Christians, we are to reflect Jesus, the Light of the Nations. Do we proclaim our faith in Him through our words and deeds? Today the Church is in great need for missionaries.

Epiphany – the meaning is pervasive

Tom Bartolomeo

The story of the Christ-Savior, as God chose, would still have unwound from a wood cradle to a crucifixion tree. Christ, the light of the world and author of life itself came to conquer the darkness by his death. The Magi came to enlighten us, to seek Him, too, not hide from God’s law but defend his truth whatever danger we face as sojourners in this world. Each of our epiphanies will be linked to the Magi’s dangerous journey, believe me. The Magi, the three wise men, came to instruct us about this.

Defusing Unexploded Bombs

Proclaim Sermons

Many forces in human life can shatter families and ruin friendships. But we can defuse explosive situations by showing gentleness and patience, speaking the truth in love, and forgiving others as Christ has forgiven us.

NOW is the only time we have

Al Carino

Tomorrow is still to come and is beyond our control while yesterday is gone forever. Now is the only time we have and under our control. Thus now is our time to accept Jesus as our Light and radiate Him to others.

Who loves you?

Frank Enderle

If during this year that has just begun, we concentrate on the fact that God thought enough of us to take on a human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary, that God thought so much of each and every one of us that He wanted to become one of us in order to redeem us, then maybe we will see the enormity of the love He has for us. And that fact should brighten even the darkest moments of our lives.

Searching and Finding

Antonio P. Pueyo

What are we searching for? Are we in search of God? Do we undertake the hard journey to find what we are searching for? Like a small fish, we look for the big ocean when all the while we are swimming in it.

Ut Unum Sint

Antonio P. Pueyo

The work of reconciliation of peoples is shown in the counselling and reconciliation of broken families. It is manifested in organizing communities and facilitating communal actions. It shows itself in advocacies for peace and inter-cultural dialogue. It is promoting ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue. It is engaging in a dialogue of life with people who may be different from us.

Jesus, Our King and Gracious Lord

Jeremiah R. Grosse

On this Epiphany Sunday, there are many who struggle with fear and anxiety brought about by the current problems in the financial market and the fall of housing prices, but God is telling us that our faith must not be placed in any earthly possession. The Lord Jesus possessed nothing throughout His life. He even stated that He had nowhere to lay His head; however, possessing nothing He gave us everything that we could ever need.

All things lead to Christ

Douglas P. McManaman

Eternal truths are the food of the intellect, but the human heart longs for a Person, to join to a Person, and not just any person, but the Person of Christ, who is God in the flesh. He is everything that the human heart longs for, and he has given himself to us as the Bread of Life.

Lessons from the events of Epiphany

Tom Bartolomeo

The truth be told, none of us knows the consequences of his beliefs and decisions. Mary and Joseph were not aware of the trials they would face together in the days and years ahead, having and caring for a son who in their case was the Son of God. They did not consider the adverse consequences as God bid them to have and raise a child as God bids all married spouses.

The Epiphany of the Lord comes to all Christians

Tom Bartolomeo

A light that moves over the waters of baptism. The light, although at first a glimmer, must grow in faith, hope and charity to be the Sun of God in our universe. Ours and God’s work, only, can increase that light in each of us and in the world.

A Star for Our Guide

Al Carino

We have our own star — our faith. It is our guide as we make our life–long journey to the Father. With it burning in our hearts, we live in hope. But when it is gone, we begin to question, to doubt. We thus ask, “Was this star — this faith — a mirage, a ‘pie in the sky?'” This phase in our life may be call from God for deeper prayer and discernment. He may answer our prayers there and then or He may inspire us to ask the right persons.

An Offering of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

Tom Bartolomeo

Our religion by its very origin is counter-cultural. We are all here in a passing world on pilgrimage with a specific and conscious goal in mind and heart – God and his world. The Wise Men left their homeland to find the Christ while we have more to know and love of God than they could obtain. The wise men did not fit in the culture of Jerusalem and left.

Becoming an Epiphany

Douglas P. McManaman

What the Magi found was not a collection of eternal truths, but a Person, an eternal Person who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Eternal truths are the food of the intellect, but the human heart longs for a Person, the Person of Christ. When we give everything over to Christ and lay everything at his feet, we become different in the eyes of others. We become an Epiphany.


EWTN Pro-Life Weekly

Please be patient
as page loads

YouTube player
A SERMON FOR EVERY SUNDAY (19:18) – Scott Spencer, New Testament scholar and author, preaches the story of the magi from Matthew 2:1-12. Spencer croons James Taylor’s “Home by Another Way” to highlight the choice of the magi. “They tell me that life is a miracle and I figured that they’re right. But Herod’s always out there, he’s got our cards on file. It’s a lead pipe cinch, if we give an inch, old Herod likes to take a mile. It’s best to go home by another way…We got this far to a lucky star, but tomorrow is another day…keep a weather eye to the chart on high and go home another way.” Herod’s way or God’s way? The magi had a choice, and so do we.

Fear or Faith


THE VISIT OF THE WISE MEN: Herod is a king who shows himself to be a catastrophe. He cannot salute a royalty greater than his own.

What Our Gifts Say about Us


I asked my confirmation class what they received for Christmas gifts. The 8th and 9th graders were more than willing to admit that what they received this Christmas was not always what they wanted. Then I asked “What did you give this year for Christmas?” For a moment, there was silence.

Follow the Star


There is a wonderful lesson for us in this story. The Wise Men met God in the midst of doing what they were supposed to do: they were at work. God can and does speak to us ANYWHERE and ANYTIME. The lesson is BE ALERT!

Almost Missing the Messiah


We seem to start a lot of sentences with the word, “Where?” around our house. Where’s the paper? Where’s the salt? Where’s the dog? The other day a video camera disappeared into thin air. It’s not a large house. There are only two of us plus dogs living in it. No one can find it. We are always missing something we need. We want to know – where. It is a question of the ages. In Matthew magi come looking for the “child born king of the Jews” and the first word they speak is, “Where?”

A Light to the Nations


Now, sometimes it’s easy to be light in the middle of Christmas when all is going well. But it’s not always easy to be light and it’s not always easy to point to God–who is not always what and where we expect God to be.

An AHA Moment


The word, epiphany means, a “showing forth,” or the “revealing of something,” that previously had not been seen. A modern writer described an epiphany as, “an AHA moment,” the moment when the light bulb goes on above our heads.

We Three Kings


Among the beloved songs of this season is “We three kings of Orient are.” This wondrous hymn had a beginning. It was written in 1857 by an Episcopal deacon, John Henry Hopkins, Jr., who taught church music at the General Theological Seminary in New York City.

Twists, Turns, and Detours Along the Way


Happy New Year! Yes, I know our New Year began on November 30, but let’s give the pagans their day. It’s the start of a new calendar year and we’re all looking to see what the next twelve months have in store for us.

The Star of Bethlehem


This morning I’d like for us to listen to Matthew, as we consider yet a fourth sign – the Star of Bethlehem. To be fair, I should tell you that the Star of Bethlehem has been the subject of endless debate over the years.

Meaningful Gifts


Ah, yes, The Wise Men. Magi from the east following a star and searching for a child born king of the Jews. Visions of Christmas cards and nativity scenes, complete with camels carrying gold, frankincense, and myrrh dance in our minds’ eye. Yes, we know the story well. Or do we?

Transcending the Tribes


Lets talk about those strange fellows present in every crèche, highlight of every pageant, subject of story and song. We three kings …. no they were not. The word is Magi, a kind of astrologer priest common to Syria and Iran in those days. But we do owe them a lot, especially the kids.

 A Feast of Epiphanies


These first verses from the second chapter of Matthew are among the most action packed accounts found in the sixty-six books of the Bible. A Hollywood script writer would be hard pressed to match the inspiration and the intrigue, the triumph over treachery.

SOURCE: Sermon Writer – All Rights Reserved | © 1997-2020 Richard Niell Donovan; Video added by SermonPrep.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *