It was the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord on 6 January 2014.

Some of the Churches celebrated in advance on 5 January 2014; including the Churches in Singapore.


The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world in celebration of this Solemnity are presented on the previous page.


We have extracted the Homilies of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:



Wednesday, 6 January 1999 


1. "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5).


Today the whole liturgy speaks of the light of Christ, of that light which was kindled on the Holy Night. The same light which led the shepherds to the stable in Bethlehem shows the way, on the day of Epiphany, to the Magi who have come from the East to worship the King of the Jews, and it shines brightly for all men and women and for all peoples who long to meet God.


In his spiritual quest, the human being already enjoys a guiding light: it is reason, through which he can find the way, although gropingly (cf. Acts 17:27), towards his Creator. But since it is easy to lose the way, God himself has come to his aid with the light of Revelation, which attained its fullness in the Incarnation of the Word, the eternal Word of truth.


Epiphany celebrates the appearance in the world of this divine Light in which God has reached out to the faint light of human reason. Today's solemnity suggests the close relationship between faith and reason, the two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth, as I recalled in the recent Encyclical Fides et ratio.


2. Christ is not only the light that illumines man's way. He also became the path for his uncertain steps towards God, the source of life. One day he will say to the Apostles: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him" (John 14:6-7). And in response to Philip's objection, he will add: "He who has seen me has seen the Father ... I am in the Father and the Father in me" (John 14:9,-11). The epiphany of the Son is the epiphany of the Father.


Was this not the reason, after all, for Christ's coming into the world? He himself declared that he had come to "make the Father known", to "explain" to people who God is, to reveal his face, his "name" (John 17:6). Eternal life consists in meeting the Father (cf. John 17:3). How appropriate, then, is this reflection, especially in the year dedicated to the Father!


Down the centuries the Church continues the mission of her Lord: her primary task is to make the Father's face known to all people by reflecting the light of Christ, lumen gentium, the light of love, truth and peace. For this reason, the divine Master sent the Apostles into the world, and in the same Spirit he continually sends Bishops as their successors.


3. In accordance with a significant custom, on the Solemnity of Epiphany the Bishop of Rome confers episcopal ordination on a number of prelates, and today I have the joy of consecrating you, dear Brothers, so that in the fullness of the priesthood you may become ministers of God's epiphany among men. Each of you has been entrusted with specific tasks, different from each other but all aimed at spreading the one Gospel of salvation among men.


You, Archbishop Alessandro D'Errico, as Apostolic Nuncio in Pakistan; you, Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, as my representative in Rwanda; and you, Archbishop Alain Lebeaupin, as Apostolic Nuncio in Ecuador, will be witnesses of unity and communion between the local Churches and the Apostolic See.


You, Bishop Cesare Mazzolari, are entrusted with the Diocese of Rumbek in Sudan, a land whose people, subjected to years of exhausting suffering, are waiting for a just peace with respect for the human rights of all, beginning with the weakest; and you, Bishop Pierre Tran Dinh Tu, have been called in turn to become a messenger of peace in the Diocese of Phú Cuong, Viêt Nam, among brothers and sisters in the faith who have suffered from many hardships.


You, Bishop Diarmuid Martin, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and you, Bishop José Luis Redrado Marchite, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health-Care Workers, will continue your valued service in the Roman Curia, keeping before your eyes the vast horizon of the entire Church.


Yours is a mission filled with expectations, Bishop Rafael Cob García, Vicar Apostolic of Puyo, Ecuador; and you, Bishop Mathew Moolakkattu, Auxiliary to the Bishop of Kottayam for Syro-Malabars in India; you remind me of Asia and America, continents for which we have recently celebrated two Special Assemblies of the Synod of Bishops.


The Lord grant that each of you, the new Bishops on whom I will lay my hands today, may bring everywhere by word and deed the joyful message of Epiphany, in which the Son revealed to the world the face of the Father rich in mercy.


4. On the threshold of the third millennium, the world has greater need than ever to experience the divine goodness, to feel God's love for every person.


The oracle of the prophet Isaiah, which we have heard today, also applies to our age: "Darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds the peoples; but upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears his glory" (Isaiah 60:2-3). On the crest, so to speak, between the second and the third millennium, the Church is called to rise up in splendour (cf. Isaiah 60:1), to shine as a city set on a hill: the Church cannot remain hidden (cf. Matthew 5:14), because people need to hear her message of light and hope and give glory to the Father who is in heaven (cf. Matthew 5:16).


Conscious of this apostolic and missionary task which belongs to all the Christian people, but especially to those whom the Holy Spirit has set as Bishops to govern the Church of God (cf. Acts 20:28), we go as pilgrims to Bethlehem to join the Magi from the East as they offer gifts to the new-born King.


But he is the true gift: Jesus, God's gift to the world. He is the One we must receive, in order to bring him in turn to everyone we will meet on our way. For everyone he is the epiphany, the manifestation of God the hope of man, of God the liberation of man, of God the salvation of man.


Christ was born for us in Bethlehem.

Come, let us adore him! Amen.



Sunday, 6 January 2002


1. "Lumen gentium ... Christus", "Christ is the light of the nations" (Lumen gentium, n. 1).


The theme of light dominates the Solemnities of Christmas and Epiphany that in the first centuries - and still today in the East - were celebrated together in a single great "feast of lights". The light appears in the warm intimacy of the Holy Night of Christmas Eve; Christ, the Light of humanity, is born. He is the "sun that shall dawn upon us from on high" (Luke 1,78). He is the sun that came into the world to dispel the darkness of evil and flood it with the splendour of divine love. John the Evangelist writes:  "The true light that enlightens every man came into the world" (John 1, 9).

"Deus lux est - God is light", St John reminds us, summing up not a gnostic theory but "the message that we received from him" (1 John 1,5), from Jesus. In his Gospel he quotes the words on the lips of the Teacher:  "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8, 12).


In becoming flesh, the Son of God was manifested as light. He is not just an external light in the history of the world, but a light within the human person, in his personal history. He became one of us, giving infinite meaning and immortality to our earthly existence. Thus, with full respect for human freedom, Christ became "lux mundi - the light of the world". He is the light that shines in the darkness (cf. John 1,5).

2. On today's Solemnity of the "Epiphany", a word for "manifestation", we are struck by the theme of the light. The Messiah who showed himself in Bethlehem to the lowly shepherds of the region continues to reveal himself as the light of every people of every time and place. To the Magi, coming from the East to adore him, the light of the one "who has been born king of the Jews" (Matthew 2,2) appears in the form of a heavenly body, so bright as to attract their attention and guide them to Jerusalem. Thus he sets them on the trail of the ancient messianic prophecies:  "a star shall come forth from Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise from Israel..." (Numbers 24,17).


How striking is the symbol of the star that recurs in all the images of Christmas and Epiphany! It still gives rise to deep feelings although, as with so many other sacred signs, it risks becoming common place because of its commercial overuse. Restored to its original context, the star we contemplate over the crib also speaks to the mind and heart of the man of the third millennium. It speaks to secularized man, awakening in him the nostalgia of his condition as pilgrim in search of the truth with a deep desire for the absolute. The etymology of the word "desire" reminds us of the experience of sailors who find their way at night by observing the stars called in Latin the "sidera".


3. Who does not feel the need for a "star" to guide him on his earthly journey? Individuals and nations both feel the need. To satisfy the universal yearning for salvation, the Lord himself chose a people to be the guiding star for "all the families of the earth" (Genesis 12,3). With the Incarnation of his Son, God then expanded his choice to every people, no matter what their race or culture. Thus the Church came into being, formed of men and women who, "united in Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, press onwards towards the kingdom of the Father and are bearers of a message of salvation intended for all men" (Gaudium et spes, n. 1).


The oracle of the Prophet Isaiah that we heard in the first reading rings out for the entire ecclesial community:  "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.... And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising" (Isaiah 60,1.3).

4. Dear Brothers, through today's episcopal ordination you are constituted pastors of the special messianic people which is the Church. Christ likewise makes you his ministers, and calls you to be missionaries of his Gospel. Some of you will exercise this "ministry of God's grace" (Ephesians 3,2) as papal representatives in different countries:  you, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, in Senegal and Mauritania; you, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan; you, Archbishop Tito Yllana, in Papua New Guinea; and you, Archbishop Giovanni d'Aniello, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Others will be the pastors of particular Churches:  you, Bishop Daniel Mizonzo, will guide the Diocese of Nkayi, in the Republic of the Congo; you, Bishop Louis Portella, that of Kinkala, also in the Republic of the Congo. To you, Bishop Marcel Utembi Tapa, I have entrusted the Diocese of Mahagi-Nioka, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and to you, Bishop Franco Agostinelli, that of Grosseto in Italy. You, Bishop Amândio José Tomás, as Auxiliary Bishop, will help the Archbishop of Évora in Portugal.


Lastly, you, Bishop Vittorio Lanzani, as Delegate of the Fabric of St Peter's, will continue your service to the Church here in the Vatican, in this Patriarchal Basilica that is particularly dear to you.

5. A year ago, on the feast of Epiphany at the end of the Holy Year, in spirit, I presented to the family of believers and all humanity the Apostolic Letter
Novo Millennio ineunte that begins with Christ's invitation to Peter and to the others:  "Duc in altum! - Put out into the deep!"


Dear Brothers, I return to that unforgettable moment and once again offer to each of you the programme of the new evangelization. I repeat to you the Redeemer's words:  "Duc in altum!". Do not be afraid of the darkness of the world, because the one who is calling you is "the light of the world" (John 8,12), "the bright morning star" (Apocalypse 22,16).


Jesus, one day you said to your disciples:  "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5,14); may you grant that the Gospel witness of these Brothers of ours may shine out for the people of our time. Make their mission effective, so that all whom I have entrusted to their pastoral care may always glorify our Father who is in heaven (cf. Matthew 5,16).


Mother of the Incarnate Word, faithful Virgin, may you keep these new bishops under your constant protection so that they may be courageous missionaries of the Gospel, for you are the faithful reflection of the love of Christ, who is the light of humanity and the hope of the world.






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12 January 2014