← Back to News

Reflection on the Feast of Epiphany

On January 6, we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, the commemoration of the visit of the three kings to the infant Jesus. Epiphany is also the twelfth day of Christmas. (Yes, it is still Christmas season even though many people take down decorations as soon as New Year’s has been celebrated!)

The Sisters follow the custom of “chalking the doorway” – placing an inscription above the door that reads “20+C+M+B+24.” The crosses (+) are to bless the house for the year (2024). The letters are the first initials of the wise men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, but more importantly, they stand for “Christus Mansionem Benedicat,” Christ Bless this House.

There is a mystery about the star, about the wise men, about their journey and their disappearance that captures the imagination and underscores the miraculous nature of the nativity. If we have gone astray in materialism and excesses that the holidays can bring, this story, this star shines a bright light on what is really important – the manifestation of God in human form in human history: “the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” (John 1:14) Nothing could be more wonderful, more important or more sacred than this.

In the darkness that surrounds us, do not give in to despair or cynicism. Follow the star which will lead you to the light, for “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)

  • Sister Joan Marie Stelman, OSB, senior vice president, mission integration