Epiphany Moments

Testimonies of divine epiphany moments or revelations are around us, and the feast of epiphany is the right time to share them.

As the proud father of four children, a man had always been actively involved in his family’s lives. But one of his three sons had a particular passion for sports, and the man loved cheering him on from the stands. So, when his son began participating in school sports, the man rearranged his work schedule and even volunteered as a coach to ensure he could be there for every game and practice.

An Epiphany Moment

However, one day the man’s son came to him with an unexpected request. He wanted to join the youth fellowship at their local Catholic church, which met on Sunday mornings, right in the middle of his usual game times. The man wasn’t particularly religious, but he loved his son and wanted to support him, so he let him go. His love for his son was an invitation to an epiphany moment.

As the weeks went on and the son continued to attend the youth meetings, the man couldn’t help but wonder what was drawing him away from the sports he had always been so passionate about.

Finally, the man made the decision to follow his son to the fellowship and see for himself what was happening there. At first, there was nothing particularly extraordinary about the meeting, but as he sat and listened, something about it spoke to the man on a deep and profound level. Soon, he found himself wanting to return the following week, and before he knew it, he had become a regular member of the church.

Through these simple exchanges—epiphany moments—God had revealed himself to the man in a way that touched his heart and soul. He found himself filled with a gentle grace, and he became a strong believer in the power of faith. Divine manifestation changes everything. As he told me, “the experience changed me forever.”

Another Epiphany Moment

Here is another epiphany moment testimony.

I was at St. Brigid Church in Hanford California in 2012. One day, two teens—a boy and a girl—came to my office. They had something to say. I could see it in their eyes.

The girl did the introduction. “This is my boyfriend”, she said.  

I’ve seen the girl a few times in Church. But I haven’t seen the boy before.

The boy jumps in. He said he asked to see me because of what happened to him in church on Sunday, which was a couple of days earlier.

He said he loves the girl, and knows she loves to go to church. So, last Sunday, “I followed her to her church. I’m not a believer and have never been. My parents are atheist and so am I.”

It was simply because “I love her that I wanted to experience all the things she experiences to understand her better”, the boy said. His love for the girl was another invitation to an epiphany moment.

So, “I came to church,” he continued. “You were preaching. While the sermon was going on, I started to have a chill. And as the ceremony progressed, I felt as if a hand was touching my shoulder. I whispered to my friend that I feel like a hand is touching my shoulder. She said she was feeling the same thing too. We turned and there was no one seating behind us and no hand touching us.”

A dream?

Meanwhile, the boy said he saw streams of diamond-looking stones appear right up front and seem so close to him. He was in awe of the dazzling display. Glittering hues of red, blue, yellow, and green shone brightly in the light as each diamond twinkled and sparkled in turn. The accuracy of their intricate facets was breathtaking and mesmerizing; every curve and angle perfectly crafted to reflect a kaleidoscope of light.

He felt as though he were dreaming, for no sight on this earth could outmatch the magnificence of these dazzling jewels. As he reached out to grasp them, they disappeared like a mirage in an instant, leaving him with nothing but the feeling of amazement at what he had just seen.

“Tears filled my eyes,” he said. He had an epiphany moment. “I shivered in awe. I felt something deep in my soul. That’s why I wanted to see you.”

To cut the long story short. The young man asked to know how to become a Catholic. He also begged me to promise that I will marry them whenever and wherever it happens. I promised.

He went through the normal catechism classes and was baptized. As God will have it, two years after, I had the privilege of marrying them. He has since lived a faith-filled life.

AI generated abstract art of the three wise men from the east inspired by Jackson Pollock.
AI generated abstract art of the three wise men from the east inspired by Jackson Pollock, from JasperArt.

The Epiphany Moment

Jesus manifested himself to him in a personal way. His epiphany moment was deeply personal. The Lord reveals himself to many people in different ways. 

These two stories are instances of epiphany moments when Christ revealed himself to the witnesses in unique ways. But there is the great epiphany. On January 6, the Catholic Church of the Latin rite, Lutherans, Anglicans, and a few other Western churches celebrate the great manifestation—epiphany. The eastern rite celebrates it on January 19.

When Jesus was born in the little manger in Bethlehem, he revealed himself so the world would see. That is the great epiphany—God’s unveiling of his birth as the Infant Jesus to the world

As we read from the prophesy of Isaiah 60:1-6, the Lord’s glory shines for the world to see. Just like what the young man in our second testimony described about the sparkling diamonds, the Lord’s glory is much radiant. His epiphany is the glory that shines through every space of creation. All from the east and the west, north and south come to see. His star appears and shines beyond Bethlehem to the ends of the earth.

Our Response

The Magi came with gifts. Their gifts symbolize what this revelation is about—a child who is king, our eternal Lord, and our priest and sacrificial lamb. Meeting the child in the manger was their epiphany moments too, for they came to tap from the great epiphany. We are born to come to Him and witness his glory. As it were, it is to be baptized in him, the divine unveiling, which is the glory of God. In his glory, we are fully alive.

Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians 3:3-6 describes this manifestation as revealed mystery. It is by God’s grace granted to the first witnesses and to the whole world. It offers everyone one—Jews and non-Jews—the grace of being sharers in the divine promise in Christ.  

As we celebrate the manifestation of Christ to us—our epiphany moments—and to the world, we celebrate the birth of hope in the divine promise in Christ. We celebrate the love of God poured in our hearts. We celebrate our oneness in the promise.

Therefore, we who’ve witnessed the glory are invited to take on the task of discipleship—shining like Christ to the world. We do so in simple things through our words, works, and silence. We animate the world. Shine the light for everyone to see.

Happy Feast of the Epiphany, and Merry Christmas!

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Fr. Maurice Emelu

The Reverend Dr. Maurice Emelu is the Chair of a number of non-profit boards and a professor of digital media and communication at John Carroll University, United States. His research and practices focus on digital storytelling and design, media aesthetics and theo-aesthetics. Dr. Emelu lives where digital media technology meets culture, communication, philosophy, theology and society. He is the founder of Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc. To know more about his professional background, visit mauriceemelu.com

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