Epiphany means the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi. Epiphany means reveal. The Feast celebrates the revelation of God revealing himself to mankind. As the real story goes, the King of the World is born and the three wise men go to see the baby Jesus. Following a star, the Magi find Jesus.
I was asked at Mass today what the INRI stands for above the cross while we celebrated the Epiphany of God’s reveal. In the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as the King of the Jews, both at the beginning of his life and at the end.
INRI found as an inscription above every crucifix represents the Latin inscription IESVS·NAZARENVS·REX·IVDÆORVM (Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum), in English reads as “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.”
Written to mock him, the chief priests said to Pilate,
“Write not, ‘The King of the Jews;’ but that he said, ‘I am King of the Jews’.” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
Some believe that the justification for his crucifixion was that he claimed an illegitimate title. However John 19:21-22 states that Pilate rejected the charge that Jesus was crucified because he falsely claimed to be king and instead stated that the reason Jesus was crucified was because he was the King of the Jews. Thus, Pilate personally was convinced that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. This is further corroborated by the Eastern Orthodox Feast of Saint Pontius Pilate on June 25 since early church histories state that after converting to Christianity, Pilate himself was martyred by double crucifixion.
In light of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are offered an opportunity to encounter the incredible mercy of God. Encountering mercy means encountering God. The Epiphany, encountering God, can transform your life in every aspect, every experience, every relationship.
STTA (something to think about): Masonically INRI is read: “Igne Natura Renovatur Integra”. The regeneration of nature by the influence of the sun symbolizes the spiritual regeneration of mankind by the sacred fire (truth and love) of Masonry, a purely naturalistic institution.