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The Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord

January 5, 2019

Alleluia, Alleluia.

We saw His star at its rising,

.and have come to do Him homage.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

A Reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew: 2: 1-12:

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying:

Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”  

When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.  They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet:

And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,

  are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

 since from you shall come a ruler,

      who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

 

Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.  He sent them to Bethlehem and said:

Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.”

After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD

REFLECTION by MONSIGNOR JOSEPH T. MARINO

All seekers of God: the Almighty has made Himself accessible in the Incarnation of His Divine Son as a Human Person … one like us in all things but sin.

The story of the Magi has caught the attention of believers of each and every age. From the time the story was represented in the first painted art of the Christians on the walls of the catacombs in Rome till today, the story finds new excitement in the hearts of people who search diligently for the childwho search diligently for God!

Saint Matthew’s Gospel boldly proclaims through the visit of the wise embraceries from foreign lands that Jesus Christ is not just the Messiah for Jews but Jesus is Savior of the world!  And, consequently the Gospel encourages people of all nations, all races and all religions to persevere in searching for God because God has made Himself PRESENT in His Son, Jesus Christ.  The Magi are cast as genuine seekers – a worthwhile quality for all of us who walk by Faith.

Well prepared to honor the new born king of the Jews, the Magi offered heart-felt gifts which clearly demonstrate who Jesus is and the purpose of His becoming man.  The gold recognizes Jesus as King; the frankincense reveals Jesus as The High Priest; and, the myrrh predicts the Savior’s death and redemption of humankind.

The Magi are presented in contrast to Herod-type individuals who prefer to sit back and let others do the searching or praying for them.  The Magi diligently searched, and therefore were rewarded with a real encounter of God!  Embedded in the story are challenges for us today: if the Magi can find God through natural means, why is it that Christians who have super-natural means of Word and Sacrament so quick to complain that He is not visible!  Is it that He is not visible, or is it that we are not searching diligently enough?

Embrace the tradition of the Magi: be a seeker of Christ: be diligent in your efforts, and use the stars provided: prayer, study of the Scriptures and reception of the Sacraments!    Do not become discouraged when you encounter Herod-types or others who only add to your confusion or doubt.   Rather, address your questions of faith and your moments of doubt with persistent prayer and study even though the journey may be long and challenging.   Is the gift at the end not worth it?

The Magi’s encounter with Jesus motivated them to travel by another way.  May this New Year be filled with opportunities for all of us to encounter Jesus so that we may travel through life by a different way, the Way of Jesus!

Prosit,

Monsignor Joseph Marino

 

 

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