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SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY.
JOHN ii. 11. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of
Galilee, and manifested forth His glory. The whole season of the year from Christmas Day until now is called Epi
Q. What Festival does the Church celebrate this day?
A. The Epiphany, or the Manifestation (as the word signifies in the Greek) of our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.
Q. What other signification has the word Epiphany ?
A. It signifies Christ's Appearance in the world, the Nativity of our Saviour, which among the ancients is commonly styled, the Appearance simply, or, the Appearing of God. And the Feast of the
phany, or Manifestation, because at it the Church celebrates and sets forth, for our meditation, the various ways in which
Nativity being celebrated twelve days, of which the first and the last, according to the custom of the Jews in their Feasts, were high or chief days of solemnity, each of these might fitly be called Epiphany in that sense, and not only referring to the star; though not excluding but containing it also, as a special circumstance belonging to the Nativity. Besides, the word has been further made use of to express the glorious Manifestation at our Saviour's Baptism, and His miraculous power at the marriage in Cana of Galilee by turning water into wine.—Nelson's Fasts and Festivals, chap. x. The Epiphany.
b Three of these are introduced into the special Services for the Feast of the Epiphany; viz. in the Second Lesson for the morning, the Manifestation of our Lord by the descent of the Holy Ghost and Voice from Heaven at His Baptism. In the Gospel, His Manifestation to the Gentiles, represented by the wise men from the East. In the Second Lesson for the evening, the Miracle of the change of water into wine at the marriage in Cana of Galilee. It is worthy of remark, that this Miracle is thrice introduced into the special Services of our Church ; and that of the miraculous feeding of the five
Christ our Lord, having taken our nature upon Him, manifested Himself to men. These manifestations admit of being distinguished by the times and places at which, and by the persons to whom, they were vouchsafed.
At His birth, to the shepherds. In His infancy, to the wise men from the East. In His boyhood, at the age of twelve years, to the doctors in the Temple, when He began to shew forth the treasures of wisdom and knowledge which lay hidden in Him, verifying the declaration of the Psalmist, “I have more understanding than all my teachers: I understand more than the ancients.” When He was come to man's estate and about to enter upon His office, the descent of the Holy Ghost, and the Voice from Heaven at His Baptism, manifested Him to the followers of the Baptist. And again, as we have heard in the Gospel for to-day, when He entered publicly on His ministry, He manifested thousand is introduced twice. Both having a manifest reference to the Holy Eucharist.
forth His glory by changing water into wine at the marriage feast. “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory.”
The two first of these were at Bethlehem, the third in Jerusalem, the fourth in the wilderness, the fifth in Cana of Galilee. The persons to whom He manifested Himself were of various estates. First, to the lowly shepherds : next, to men of rank and political power, (for such the wise men or magi appear to have been :) then, to men of learning, the doctors of the law of God: then, to persons professedly bent on religion, the multitude attending the ministry of John Baptist : lastly, to persons in private life on a social occasion ; whereby He shewed that He is the Author of the political, the ecclesiastical, and the social states d of life, and is pleased to call men to Himself from all ranks and states; learned and unlearned, rich and poor, of high rank and of low degree, married and unmarried. To the wise men, magi or kings, from the East, He manifested Himself as a King, receiving kingly gifts ; in the Temple, He shewed forth His divine wisdom; at the river Jordan, His divine nature was declared; at Cana of Galilee, His Almighty power.
• In the Vulgate they are styled Kings; and the feast of the Epiphany, commonly called Twelfth Day in England, is in other Christian countries of Europe called “ The day of the Kings.”
d Johan. Gerhard. Homil. iii. in Dom. i. post. Epiphan.
This His first miracle let us now consider, as to its circumstances, and as to the way in which He was thereby manifested. All the circumstances suggest some instruction. For instance: the faith of the Virgin Mary, shewn by her apparent confidence that He could supply the need of the guests, and by her injunction to the servants to do whatever He should bid them, although our Lord's reply seemed in a manner to convey reproof; “ Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.” To take this point first. The Virgin Mary confessed His Almighty power, by applying