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The Spirit of the Liturgy
by Joseph Ratzinger
transl. by John Saward, Kenneth Baker, SJ, Henry Taylor, et al.
Ignatius Press, San Francisco

II Time and Space in the Liturgy
5. Sacred Time, p.68
On the Feast of the Epiphany 

I should like briefly to mention the feast of the Epiphany, celebrated on January 6, which is closely connected with Christmas.  Let us leave on one side all the historical details and the many glorious patristic texts on the subject.  Let us try to understand it very simply in the form that we have here in the West.  It interprets the Incarnation of the Logos in terms of the ancient category of "epiphany", that is, of the self-revelation of God, the God who manifests himself to his creatures.  In this perspective the feast links together several different epiphanies: the adoration of the Magi as the beginning of the Church of the Gentiles, the procession of the nations to the God of Israel (cf. Is 60); the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, in which the voice from above publicly proclaims Jesus as the Son of God; and the wedding at Cana, where he reveals his glory.  The narrative of the adoration of the Magi became important for Christian thought, because it shows the inner connection between the wisdom of the nations and the Word of promise in Scripture; because it shows how the language of the cosmos and the truth-seeking thought of man lead to Christ.  The mysterious star could become the symbol for these connections and once again emphasize that the language of the cosmos and the language of the human heart trace their descent from the Word of the Father, who in Bethlehem came forth from the silence of God and assembled the fragments of our human knowledge into a complete whole.