What's an Epiphany?

Christmastide is loaded with feasts and special days – St. Stephen the First Martyr, St. John the Evangelist, Mary the Mother of God (this Thursday), etc.  After Christmas, the second most important one is the Epiphany of the Lord (this Sunday).  It even has its own countdown song. 

The traditional 12 days of Christmas count the days between Christmas and Epiphany (the actual date is the 6th, but we celebrate it on the nearest Sunday).  Okay, it’s important, but what is it? 

The word “epiphany” is often used to describe a brainstorm or a moment of insight.  But that’s not what it really means.  An “epiphany” reveals something about a divine being.  

For the Epiphany of the Lord, Jesus is the divine being in question.  So what’s being revealed?  More on this tomorrow. 

Readings for Sunday: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/010415.cfm