Second Sunday after the Epiphany
St. John 1:43-51
Today, the great Epiphany arrives in Galilee. There, Jesus first manifests and calls a group of disciples to accompany him to proclaim the good news. Jesus finds Phillip and says to him, “Follow me,” Phillip does not resist the epiphany and immediately follows Jesus. And, as the epiphany cannot be silenced, Phillip brings the good news to Nathanael and proclaims, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
Nathanael, blind from his prejudices, responds to Phillip, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Galilee was a despised part of Israel, and Nazareth was a proverbially despised part of Galilee. Jesus is from Nazareth; so, even before meeting Jesus, Nathanael stereotypes him. He gives in to the vice of judging people, their work and wisdom of the class to which they are supposed to belong or of the place from which they come. His prejudices prevent him from receiving the epiphany. But Phillip is inspired enough and encourages him saying, “Come and see.”
Nathanael comes, sees, and experiences the great epiphany in such a way that he finally confesses to Jesus, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” His confession is indeed the confession of one who has been transformed by the encounter with Jesus, and now he sees that God is present in Jesus of Nazareth. This encounter ends with a great revelation of Jesus, “You will see greater things… you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
Jesus’ words remind us of the early revelation of God to Jacob, the Israelite’s ancestor. He dreamed that there was a ladder that united heaven and earth, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And God was there and promised to walk with him and his descendants and bless all the nations of the earth through them. When Jacob woke up from his sleep he exclaims, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” (Gen 28, 16).
Now in Galilee, the house of God is present among the people and the gate of heaven is open to all. In Jacob’s dream, the ladder is the way of communication between heaven and earth. Jesus now declares that he is the mediator between God and humans, and great things may be seen through him. We can see these great things in the testimonies of the Gospels, where we read of the great teachings and actions of Jesus in favor of the people. In the Gospels, Jesus reveals to us the loving God who cares for children, for women, for the destitute, the sick, the sparrows, the flowers, and whose will is the well-being of all people.
Today, Jesus arrives in our midst and invites us to enter into the house of God and experience the great epiphany and see all great things. Today, Jesus opens the heavens and also our eyes to see the daily epiphany among us in other people and in nature: in a child’s gaze, a smile, a sunrise, a hug, a flower, in a time of rest or meditation. The epiphany is present in all aspects of our daily life.
There, you will see great things!
You will see God!
|Neli+ Miranda, Priest-in-Charge|
Greetings and blessings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ