Christmastide is jammed full of special days. After Christmas, the second most important one is Epiphany. So what’s an “epiphany?” A moment that reveals something about God.
That moment grows out of the first reading (Isaiah). It’s kind of like the Isaiah readings from Advent, but with a difference. Those of us who aren’t part of God’s people are part of God’s plan.
While the Epistle (Ephesians) tells us about the place that all of us have in God’s plan, everything just crashes together in the Gospel (Matthew). God’s people waiting for Christ, a murderous tyrant, an occupying Roman army, plus some foreigners. Who just happen to be carrying the royal gifts listed by Isaiah.
It’s a mash-up of conflicting signals and cultures that somehow sends a clear message. What’s happening here is from God. And it isn’t just for the select few.