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Let the Scriptures Speak
Solemnity of the Epiphany
of the Lord
January 6, 2019
Dennis Hamm, SJ

Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance
. (Is 60;3)

Lumen Gentium

The prophet that we call “Third Isaiah,” writing after the return of the Judeans to their homeland from Babylon, looks ahead to a time of even further restoration, when Zion would so reflect the light of God that the nations would flock to it. It is a renewal of the vision expressed long before by First Isaiah, picturing a time when all nations would stream toward Jerusalem to learn Torah and beat swords into plowshares (Is 2:2-5).

The vision of the People of God as a “light for the nations” still beckons.

Further, today's reading echoes the songs of Second Isaiah, who envisioned Servant Israel missioned as a “light to the nations.” Matthew's account of the Magi worshiping the child Jesus reflects the early Church's conviction that the Christ's coming began to fulfill that vision of Isaiah. When the authors of Vatican II chose the phrase Lumen Gentium to name the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, they meant to remind us that the vision of the People of God as a “light for the nations” still beckons.

Dennis Hamm, SJ
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Fr. Hamm is emeritus professor of the New Testament at Creighton University in Omaha. He has published articles in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, The Journal Of Biblical Literature, Biblica, The Journal for the Study of the New Testament, America, Church; and a number of encyclopedia entries, as well as the book, The Beatitudes in Context (Glazier, 1989), and three other books.
Art by Martin (Steve) Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C).
This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go
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