The Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord can be approached from different perspectives. First, it is the revelation of Jesus as the King of the Nations. From this point of view, Jesus is the Light that came to enlighten all who dwell in darkness. This is what is seen in the Magi who are following the star from farther regions. As King, Jesus reveals the universality of His salvation. The involvement of the Magi from distant regions is the expression of His embrace of all people; fulfilling the truth that “God shows no partiality,” His salvation is given to everyone who believes in Him and who decides to follow the Light.
The second aspect we can consider at the celebration of the Epiphany is related to the very meaning of the word “Epiphany” meaning manifestation, revelation, coming out of darkness, out of hiding. The message is therefore that no one who follows Christ can at the same time live in secret. Faith in Jesus must always be expressed, and it should enlighten others. In other words, discipleship is never a private matter. Epiphany challenges us as disciples to come out of our comfort zone where we can hide from every adversity to shine of the light of Christ.
Epiphany is also the time we bless our houses and entrust them to God’s care and protection. We invite you to adopt this custom in your family. The family gathers to ask God’s blessing on their home and on those who live in or visit the home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home, our comings and goings, our conversations, our work and play, our joys and sorrows.
A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk to write above the home’s entrance, 20 + C + M + B + 21. The letters C, M, B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross and 2021 is the year.
In the Tradition of the Church, the blessing of the house is done by using the blessed chalk mark the lintel of your front door (or front porch step) as follows: 20 + C + M + B + 21 while saying:
The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and twenty-one years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.
Then the head of the household offers the following prayer:
Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live or visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch. May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.