Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 01-08-12, Solemnity, The Epiphany of the Lord
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 01-08-12 | RevisedNew American Bible

Posted on 01/07/2012 8:09:22 PM PST by Salvation

January 8, 2012

 

The Epiphany of the Lord

 

Reading 1 Is 60:1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13.

R. (cf. 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.
All kings shall pay him homage,
all nations shall serve him.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Reading 2 Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6

Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God's grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.
It was not made known to people in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Gospel Mt 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 Christ 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.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; christmas; prayer; saints
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-55 next last
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 01/07/2012 8:09:33 PM PST by Salvation
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 01/07/2012 8:12:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

From: Isaiah 60:1-6

A Radiant New Jerusalem


[1] Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
[2] For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
[3] And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.

[4] Lift up your eyes round about, and see;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far,
and your daughters shall be carried in the arms.
[5] Then you shall see and be radiant,
your heart shall thrill and rejoice;
because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
[6] A multitude of camels shall cover you,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
all those from Sheba shall come.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

60:1-64:11. In the central section of Third Isaiah, the restored Jerusalem has a
wonderful radiance; it is the dwelling place of the glory of the Lord, and from it all
the nations will hear about God’s salvation. These are chapters that shine with
hope and joy. In the opening verses, Jerusalem, the Lord’s spouse, is invited to
leap with joy, for the glory of the Lord will light up the holy city, which will become
a beacon for the nations (60:1-22). From there, too, the Lord’s herald proclaims
the good news of salvation to the poor, the oppressed and all who labor under
some burden (61:1-11). The holy city will radiate righteousness for all the nations
to see (62:1-12). Finally, the Lord, depicted as a conqueror, enthroned in a glori-
ous Jerusalem, is proclaimed as the sovereign lord who wilt judge and reward
and punish (63:1-64:11).

60:1-22. These verses are a magnificent hymn to Jerusalem, completely resto-
red, idealized; the prophet does not need to identify it by name. The most remar-
kable feature of the city is its radiance, mentioned at the start and end of the po-
em (vv. 1-3 and 19-22): it stems from the glory of the Lord, who has made the ci-
ty’s temple his dwelling-place. The city acts as a magnet for all the nations, not
only because it instructs them by means of the Law and by the word of God, as
we heard at the start of the book (2:2-4; cf. Mic 4:1-3) but also because they are
in awe of its splendor. The central verses of the poem rejoice in the pilgrimages
that make their way to the holy city: first, those of Israelites, who had been scat-
tered across the world: the pilgrims are most happy and they bear rich gifts for
the Lord (vv. 4-9). Foreigners will come, too, and they will bring precious materi-
als to reconstruct and embellish the city they previously destroyed. The obei-
sance they must do corresponds to the harm they did earlier (vv. 10-14). But the
most important event is the arrival of the Lord who will bring gifts in abundance,
the most precious being peace (vv. 15-10) and light (vv. 19-22). This picture of
the new Jerusalem (one would expect) must have raised the spirits of those en-
gaged in the final stages of the rebuilding of the temple.

This poem clearly has resonances with the eschatological description of the hea-
venly Jerusalem in the Revelation to John (cf. Rev 21:9-27). Some of the wording
is virtually the same: cf. v. 3 with Rev 21:24 (”By its light shall the nations work;
and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it”); v. 11 with Rev 21:25-26
(”its gates shall never be shut by day — and there will be no night there”); v. 14
with Rev 3:9 (”I will make them come and bow down before your feet”); v. 19 with
Rev 21:23 (”the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory
of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb”) and 22:5 (”night shall be no more;
they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they
shall reign for ever and ever”). The hopes harbored by the early Christians (and
the consolation to which the new people of God look forward) are in continuity
with the hope felt by the ancient people of Israel. The message of Isaiah and
that of the book of Revelation were each (in different historical contexts) calling
for firm faith in the Savior of all. The New Testament fills out the Old by openly
declaring that God saves us through his Son, Jesus Christ.

60:4-9. The pilgrimage described here comes from all corners of the earth, and
yet it is a familial one. It is made up of people who were scattered throughout the
known world, and not just those exiled in Babylon. Those from the west come by
sea (v. 5), bearing the sort of goods normally transported by sea, particularly by
Greek and Phoenician merchants. Those from the east, from the Arabian penin-
sula (Kedar and Nebaioth) and further afield will travel in caravans bringing pre-
cious commodities typical of the area — silver, gold etc. (v. 6). The visit of the
Magi, who came bearing presents to adore Jesus, is in line with the sort of com-
merce that was current at the time, and it is probably connected with this text
of Isaiah. Certainly, when this passage is read in the liturgy on the Solemnity of
the Epiphany, the implication is that those rich gifts brought to the temple in ho-
nor of the Lord prefigure those that the Magi offered to him who is truly the “Lord
your God”, “the Holy One of Israel” (v. 9). “Today, the wise man finds lying in a
manger the One he had searched for as a brilliant light shining among the stars.
Today, the wise man sees wrapped in swaddling clothes the One he long sought
to find, unveiled, in the heavens. Today, to his great surprise, the wise man dis-
cerns in what he studies: heaven on earth, earth in the heavens, man in God,
and God in man; what the whole universe could not contain inhabits the body of
a child. And seeing all this, he believes and doubts no more; and he announces
it to all, using his mystical powers: incense for God, gold for the King, and myrrh
for the One who will die. Today, the Gentile who was once last is first, because
the faith of the wise man sanctifies the belief of all the peoples” (St Peter Chryso-
logus, “Semones”, 160). And Eusebius of Caesarea comments: “The conversion
of the Gentiles glorifies the Church of God in a special way. The prophecy, “I will
glorify my glorious house” [60:7], is fulfilled. This promise was made to the old
Jerusalem, the mother of the new city, who, as has already been said, was the
community of all among the ancient people who lived righteous lives — the pro-
phets and patriarchs, all just men, those to whom the coming of Christ was first
proclaimed” (”Commentaria in Isaiam”, 60, 6-7).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 01/07/2012 8:14:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

From: Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6

St Paul’s Mission


(I am) [2] Assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that
was given to me for you, [3a] how the mystery was made known to me by reve-
lation, [5] which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations
as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; [6]
that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and par-
takers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-21. Christ’s saving work on behalf of the Gentiles, calling them to be, with the
Jews, living stones in the edifice of the Church, leads the Apostle once again to
overflow in prayer (vv. 14-21). But first he considers his own position and what
Christ has done in him by making him a minister or servant of the Mystery of
Christ (vv. 2-13). He witnesses to the revelation he himself has received, which
made this Mystery known to him (vv. 2-5); and he goes on to give a summary
of the Mystery, emphasizing the call of the Gentiles to the Church through the
preaching of the Gospel (v. 6); he then explains that his mission is precisely to
preach the Mystery of Christ to the Gentiles (vv. 7-13).

1-4. What led to St Paul’s imprisonment was Jewish charges that he had prea-
ched against the Law and had brought Gentiles into the temple (they thought
Trophimus, a citizen of Ephesus, was a Gentile: cf. Acts 21:28f). He did not
mind so much the chains or the imprisonment or the Romans being his judges
and jailers: what he wanted to make clear was that he was imprisoned for prea-
ching to the Gentiles the salvation won by Jesus Christ.

He is very conscious of being an instrument specially chosen by God: he has
been given the grace to reveal the “Mystery” (cf. Rom 1:15; 2 Cor 12:2f). He
is clearly referring to the vision he had on the road to Damascus (cf. Acts 9:2)
and possibly to later revelations as well. His encounter with the risen Christ,
who identifies himself with his Church (cf. Acts 9:5), is the origin and basis of
his grasp of God’s eternal plan, the “Mystery”, which is one of the central tea-
chings in this letter. The fact that Christ revealed himself to Paul and chose
him to be the preacher of the Gospel to the Gentiles is something which Paul
sees as part of the systematic implementation — the “oikonomia” — of God’s
plan.

5. In the Old Testament the promise made to Abraham revealed that in his off-
spring all the nations of the earth would be blessed (cf. Gen 12:3; Sir 44:21); but
how this would happen was not revealed. The Jews always thought that it would
come about through their exaltation over other nations. Through the revelation
Jesus made to him, St Paul has discovered that God has chosen another way—
that of bringing the Gentiles into the Church, the body of Christ, on equal terms
with the Jews. This is the “Mystery”, the plan of God as revealed by the mission
Christ gave his apostles or envoys (cf. Mt 28:19), of whom St Paul is one (cf. 3:
8). Once again, as in 2:20, prophets are mentioned together with apostles; this
may mean either the Old Testament prophets who announced the coming Mes-
siah, or the New Testament prophets, that is, the Apostles themselves and other
Christians who had insight, through revelation, into God’s saving plans for the
Gentiles and who proclaimed them under the inspiration of the Spirit.

The context and other passages in Ephesians and elsewhere in the New Testa-
ment (cf. Eph 4:11; 1 Cor 12:28f; Acts 11:27; etc.) would suggest that he is re-
ferring to New Testament prophets. The Holy Spirit has revealed the Mystery to
them “that they might preach the Gospel, stir up faith in Jesus the Messiah and
Lord, and bring together the Church” (Vatican II, “Dei Verbum”, 17). St Paul does
not see himself as the only person to whom it has been given to know the Mys-
tery revealed in Jesus Christ. All that he is saying is that, by the grace of God, it
has been made known to him and that its preaching has been entrusted to him
in a special way, just as it was given to St Peter to preach it to the Jews (cf.
Gal 2:7).

St Paul attributes to the Holy Spirit the revelation of the Mystery, recalling, no
doubt, how he himself came to know it after his meeting with Jesus on the road
to Damascus (cf. Acts 9:17). It is the Spirit also who acts in the apostles and
prophets (cf. Acts 2:17), and it is he who on an on-going basis vivifies the Church,
enabling it to proclaim the Gospel. “The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. It
is he who explains to the faithful the deep meaning of the teaching of Jesus and
of his mystery. It is the Holy Spirit who, today just as at the beginning of the
Church, acts in every evangelizer who allows himself to be possessed and led
by him. The Holy Spirit places on his lips the words which he could not find him-
self, and at the same time the Holy Spirit predisposes the soul of the hearer to
be open and receptive to the Good News and to the Kingdom being proclaimed”
(Paul VI, “Evangelii Nuntiandi”, 75).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 01/07/2012 8:16:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: All

From: Matthew 2:1-12

The Adoration of the Magi


[1] Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the
king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, [2] “Where is
He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East,
and have come to worship Him.” [3] When Herod the kind heard this, he was
troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; [4] and assembling all the chief priests
and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
[5] They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: [6]
‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the
rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.’”

[7] Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them
what time the star appeared; [8] and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go
and search diligently for the Child, and when you have found Him bring me word,
that I too may come and worship Him.” [9] When they had heard the king they
went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before
them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. [10] When they saw
the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; [11] and going into the house
they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshipped
Him.

Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and
myrrh. [12] And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed
to their own country by another way.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1. “King Herod”: four different Herods are mentioned in the New Testament. The
first is Herod the Great, referred to in this passage and in the next; the second,
his son, Herod Antipas, who had St. John the Baptist beheaded (Matthew 14:1-
12) and who abused our Lord during His passion (Luke 23:7-11); the third, Herod
Agrippa I, a nephew of Herod the Great, who executed the Apostle St. James the
Greater (Acts 12:1-3), imprisoned St. Peter (Acts 12:4-7), and died suddenly and
mysteriously (Acts 12:20-23). The fourth, Herod Agrippa II, was Herod Agrippa’s
son. It was before him that St. Paul answered Jewish accusations when he was
a prisoner in Caesarea (Acts 25:23).

Herod the Great, who appears here, was the son of non-Jewish parents. He
came to power with the aid and as a vassal of the Romans. He was a consum-
mate politician and among other things he rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem on a
lavish scale. Herod the Great had a persecution complex; everywhere he saw
rivals to his throne. He was notorious for his cruelty: he killed over half of his ten
wives, some of his children and many people of standing. This information de-
rives largely from the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote towards the
end of the first century, and it confirms the cruel picture drawn in the Gospels.

“Wise men”: these were learned men, probably from Persia, who devoted them-
selves to the study of the stars. Since they were not Jews, they can be consi-
dered to be the very first Gentiles to receive the call to salvation in Christ. The
adoration of the wise men forms part of the very earliest documented tradition:
the scene is already depicted at the beginning of the second century in the pain-
tings in the catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome.

2. The Jews had made known throughout the East their hope of a Messiah.
The wise men knew about this expected Messiah, king of the Jews. According
to ideas widely accepted at the time, this sort of person, because of his signifi-
cance in world history, would have a star connected with his birth. God made
use of these ideas to draw to Christ these representatives of the Gentiles who
would later be converted.

“The star had been hidden from them so that, on finding themselves without
their guide, they would have no alternative but to consult the Jews. In this way
the birth of Jesus would be known to all” (St. John Chrysostom, “Hom. on St.
Matthew”, 7).

St. John Chrysostom also points out that “God calls them by means of the
things they are most familiar with; and He shows them a large and extraordina-
ry star so that they would be impressed by its size and beauty” (”Hom. on St.
Matthew”, 6). God called the wise men in the midst of their ordinary occupations,
and He still calls people in that way. He called Moses when he was shepherding
his flock (Exodus 3:1-3), Elisha the prophet ploughing his land with oxen (1 Kings
19:19-20), Amos looking after his herd (Amos 7:15).... “What amazes you seems
natural to me: that God has sought you out in the practice of your profession!
That is how He sought the first, Peter and Andrew, James and John, beside their
nets, and Matthew, sitting in the custom-house. And — wonder of wonders! —
Paul, in his eagerness to destroy the seed of the Christians” (St. J. Escriva,
“The Way”, 799).

“Like the Magi we have discovered a star — a light and a guide in the sky of our
soul. ‘We have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’ We
have had the same experience. We too noticed a new light shining in our soul
and growing increasingly brighter. It was a desire to live a fully Christian life, a
keenness to take God seriously” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 32).

4. In all Jewish circles at the time of Jesus, the hope was widespread that the
Messiah would come soon. The general idea was that he would be a king, like
a new and even greater David. Herod’s worry is therefore all the more understan-
dable: he governed the Jews with the aid of the Romans and cruelly and jealous-
ly guarded his crown. Due to his political ambition and his lack of a religious
sense, Herod saw a potential King-Messiah as a dangerous rival to his own
worldly power.

In the time of our Lord, both Herod’s monarchy and the occupying Romans
(through their procurators) recognized the Sanhedrin as the representative body
of the Jewish people. The Sanhedrin was, therefore, the nation’s supreme coun-
cil which ruled on day-to-day affairs, both religious and civil. The handling of the
more important questions needed the approval of either the king (under Herod’s
monarchy) or the Roman procurator (at the time of the direct Roman occupation
of Palestine). Following Exodus 24:1-9 and Numbers 11:16, the Sanhedrin was
composed of 71 members presided over by the high priest. The members were
elected from three groupings: 1) the chief priests, that is, the leaders of the prin-
cipal priestly families; it was these families who appointed the high priest (the
chief priests also included anybody who had formerly held the high priesthood);
2) the elders, or the leaders of the most important families; 3) the scribes, who
were teachers of the Law or experts on legal and religious matters; the majority
of these scribes belonged to the party or school of the Pharisees.

In this passage of St. Matthew only the first and third of the above groups are
mentioned. This is understandable since the elders would have no authority in
the matter of the birth of the Messiah — a purely religious question.

5-6. The prophecy referred to in this passage is Micah 5:1. It is worth noting that
Jewish tradition interpreted this prophecy as predicting the Messiah’s exact place
of birth and as referring to a particular person. The second text thus teaches us
once more that the prophecies of the Old Testament are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

8. Herod tried to find out exactly where the Child was — not, of course, to adore
Him, as he said, but to dispose of Him. Such was Herod’s exclusively political
view of things. Yet neither his shrewdness nor his wickedness could prevent
God’s plans from being fulfilled. Despite Herod’s ambition and his scheming,
God’s wisdom and power were going to bring salvation about.

9. “It might happen at certain moments of our interior life — and we are nearly al-
ways to blame — that the star disappears, just as it did to the wise kings on their
journey.... What should we do if this happens?

Follow the example of those wise men and ask. Herod used knowledge to act
unjustly. The Magi used it to do good. But we Christians have no need to go to
Herod nor to the wise men of this world. Christ has given His Church sureness
of doctrine and a flow of grace in the Sacraments. He has arranged things so
that there will always be people to guide and lead us, to remind us constantly
of our way” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 34).

11. The gifts they offered — gold, frankincense and myrrh — were those most va-
lued in the East. People feel the need to give gifts to God to show their respect
and faith. Since they cannot give themselves as a gift, which is what they would
wish, they give instead what is most valuable and dear to them.

The prophets and the psalmists foretold that the kings of the earth would pay ho-
mage to God at the time of the Messiah (Isaiah 49:23). They would offer Him their
treasures (Isaiah 60:5) and adore Him (Psalm 72:10-15). Through this action of
the wise men and the offering of their gifts to Jesus, these prophecies begin to
be fulfilled.

The Council of Trent expressly quotes this passage when it underlines the vene-
ration that ought to be given to Christ in the Eucharist: “The faithful of Christ vene-
rate this most holy Sacrament with the worship of latria which is due to the true
God.... For in this Sacrament we believe that the same God is present whom the
eternal Father brought into the world, saying of Him, ‘Let all God’s angel worship
Him’ (Hebrews 1:6; cf. Psalm 97:7). It is the same God whom the Magi fell down
and worshipped (cf. Matthew 2:11) and, finally, the same God whom the Apostles
adored in Galilee as Scriptures says (Matthew 28:17)” (Decree, “De SS. Euchari-
sta”, Chapter 5).

St. Gregory of Nazianzen has also commented on this verse, as follows: “Let
us remain in adoration; and to Him, who, in order to save us, humbled Himself to
such a degree of poverty as to receive our body, let us offer not only incense, gold
and myrrh (the first as God, the second as king, and the third as one who sought
death for our sake), but also spiritual gifts, more sublime than those which can
be seen with the eyes” (”Oratio”, 19).

12. The involvement of the wise men in the events at Bethlehem ends with yet
another act of respectful obedience and cooperation with God’s plans. Christians
also should be receptive to the specific grace and mission God has given them.
They should persevere in this even if it means having to change any personal
plans they may have made.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 01/07/2012 8:18:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings


First reading Isaiah 55:1-11 ©
Thus says the Lord:
Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty;
though you have no money, come!
Buy corn without money, and eat,
and, at no cost, wine and milk.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
your wages on what fails to satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things to eat
and rich food to enjoy.
Pay attention, come to me;
listen, and your soul will live.
With you I will make an everlasting covenant
out of the favours promised to David.
See, I have made of you a witness to the peoples,
a leader and a master of the nations.
See, you will summon a nation you never knew,
those unknown will come hurrying to you,
for the sake of the Lord your God,
of the Holy One of Israel who will glorify you.
Seek the Lord while he is still to be found,
call to him while he is still near.
Let the wicked man abandon his way,
the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn back to the Lord who will take pity on him,
to our God who is rich in forgiving;
for my thoughts are not your thoughts,
my ways not your ways – it is the Lord who speaks.
Yes, the heavens are as high above earth
as my ways are above your ways,
my thoughts above your thoughts.
Yes, as the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.

First reading Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7 ©
Thus says the Lord:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom my soul delights.
I have endowed him with my spirit
that he may bring true justice to the nations.
He does not cry out or shout aloud,
or make his voice heard in the streets.
He does not break the crushed reed,
nor quench the wavering flame.
Faithfully he brings true justice;
he will neither waver, nor be crushed
until true justice is established on earth,
for the islands are awaiting his law.
I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right;
I have taken you by the hand and formed you;
I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to free captives from prison,
and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.


Canticle Isaiah 12 ©
The rejoicing of a redeemed people
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Truly, God is my salvation,
  I trust, I shall not fear.
For the Lord is my strength, my song,
  he became my saviour.
With joy you will draw water
  from the wells of salvation.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name!
  Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples!
  Declare the greatness of his name.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Sing a psalm to the Lord
  for he has done glorious deeds;
  make them known to all the earth!
People of Zion, sing and shout for joy,
  for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Psalm Psalm 28:1-4,9-10 ©
The Lord will bless his people with peace.
O give the Lord, you sons of God,
  give the Lord glory and power;
give the Lord the glory of his name.
  Adore the Lord in his holy court.
The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The Lord’s voice resounding on the waters,
  the Lord on the immensity of waters;
the voice of the Lord, full of power,
  the voice of the Lord, full of splendour.
The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders.
  In his temple they all cry: ‘Glory!’
The Lord sat enthroned over the flood;
  the Lord sits as king for ever.
The Lord will bless his people with peace.


Second reading 1 John 5:1-9 ©
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ
has been begotten by God;
and whoever loves the Father that begot him
loves the child whom he begets.
We can be sure that we love God’s children
if we love God himself and do what he has commanded us;
this is what loving God is –
keeping his commandments;
and his commandments are not difficult,
because anyone who has been begotten by God
has already overcome the world;
this is the victory over the world –
our faith.
Who can overcome the world?
Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God:
Jesus Christ who came by water and blood,
not with water only,
but with water and blood;
with the Spirit as another witness –
since the Spirit is the truth –
so that there are three witnesses,
the Spirit, the water and the blood,
and all three of them agree.
We accept the testimony of human witnesses,
but God’s testimony is much greater,
and this is God’s testimony,
given as evidence for his Son.

Second reading Acts 10:34-38 ©
Peter addressed Cornelius and his household: ‘The truth I have now come to realise’ he said ‘is that God does not have favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him.
  ‘It is true, God sent his word to the people of Israel, and it was to them that the good news of peace was brought by Jesus Christ – but Jesus Christ is Lord of all men. You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judaea; about Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.’


Gospel Acclamation cf.Jn1:29
Alleluia, alleluia!
John saw Jesus coming towards him, and said:
This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 1:7-11 ©
In the course of his preaching John the Baptist said, ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’
  It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John. No sooner had he come up out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.’

6 posted on 01/07/2012 8:27:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: All
On Christmas
URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI
Solemn Mass of Christmas Eve with Pope Benedict XVI

Christmas, Pagan Romans and Frodo Baggins
Midnight Masses Canceled in Iraq Because of Growing Security Concerns
Christmas Overview for All
The Tradition of Midnight Mass: History
Which Christmas Mass are you attending? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Christmas, Christians, and Christ
The Many Meanings of Christmas
Vocations Under the Christmas Tree? [Catholic Caucus]
A Meditation On the “Bloody Octave” of Christmas [Catholic Caucus]
"It (Theosis) can be a somewhat startling theme for western Christian ears..."
Archbishop Wenski brightens Christmas for Krome detainees
The Octave of Christmas: December 25 -- January 1 [Ecumenical]
Pope's Christmas Warning: 'The Future Of The World Is At Stake'
Father Corapi: What Really Matters [at Christmas]?
Papal Midnight Mass With No Communion in The Hand
Christmas Requiem for Iraq's Christian Community
Christmas story shows season’s beauty [nice surprise from the Chicago Sun Times]
Text Of Pope's Homily For Christmas Eve Mass
Merry Christmas: Love is born on Christmas Morn and the Whole World Begins Again
'Christmas is Evil': Muslim Group Launches Poster Campaign Against Festive Period [UK]

The Origin of Nativity Scenes
St. Francis and the Christmas Creche
Holy Day Vs. Holiday: Making Christmas Less Commercial
25 Ways We're Different this Christmas
On Christmas: Where Everything Began
Saved by Christmas
Christmas Midnight Mass Canceled in Iraq
Some Christmas History: The Aztec Christmas Flower
Top 10 Christmas Carols (What is your favorite Christmas Carol?)
Where’s the Human in Humanism? Humanist Ads Violate...Own Humanist Standards (Attacking Christmas]
Fr. Corapi: In Reality, Sadness Has No Place At Christmas Time Or Any Time…
Pope's battle to save Christmas: Don't let atheists crush your traditions, Benedict tells Britain
A CHRISTMAS TRADITION IN ROME: THE STREET CLEANERS NATIVITY SCENE
The Days of Christmastide -- more than twelve!
Saint Padre Pio's Christmas Meditation
"Transform Me. Renew Me. Change Me, Change Us All" (Pope's Midnight Mass Homily)
Christmas in Rome. The Pope's Tale of the Crèche
On the Feast of Christ's Birth [Benedict XVI]
The Meaning of Christmas: Look Deeper
St. Francis and the Christmas crib.
Away in a Manger [St. Francis of Assisi and the first Nativity scene]

Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace [Family]
Christmastide and Epiphany
SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD: HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI [Catholic Caucus]
A Christmas Message >From Fr. Corapi
Christmas and the Eucharist(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Preface: Memories of Christmas
Christmas Overview
The Manger -- Nativity Scene -- Crêche
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Christmas Quiz; How Much Do You Really Know?
Christmas Prayers: Prayers and Collects for the Feast of the Nativity
[Christmas] Customs from Various Countries and Cultures
The 12 Days of Christmas and Christmastide: A Rich Catholic Tradition
The 12 Days of Christmas -- Activities, Customs, Prayers, Blessings, Hymns -- For the Family
Iraqis Crowd Churches for Christmas Mass
Pope Wishes the World a Merry Christmas
On this night, a comforting message(Merry Christmas!)
Advent through Christmas -- 2007
Bethlehem beyond the Christmas calm
The Origin of Nativity Scenes

Various Orthodox Texts for the Feast of the Nativity
The Five Best Christmas Stories
What Are We Celebrating When We Celebrate Christmas?
Secular Christmas Celebration Pointless, Pope Says
The Wonder of Christmas - 1959
The Real Meaning of Christmas Lights
Top ten Carols and things you didn't know about them
The Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Christmas Proclamation
Christmas gifts are a reminder of Jesus, the greatest gift given to mankind, Pope tells youth
The Senses of Christmas
Pope celebrates Christmas mass
Christmas: The Turning Point of History
The Original Christmas Story
Bringing Christmas to Life Again
Christmas: the beginning of our redemption
Christmas and the Eucharist
Catholic Caucus: The 16 Days of Christmas (Christmas to the Baptism of the Lord)
Origin of the Twelve Days of Christmas [An Underground Catechism]
Origin of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" [Underground Catechism]

7 posted on 01/07/2012 8:28:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
8 posted on 01/07/2012 8:29:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
9 posted on 01/07/2012 8:30:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: All
 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

10 posted on 01/07/2012 8:30:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Thank you Salvation.


11 posted on 01/07/2012 8:31:57 PM PST by RitaOK (HIS FEAR FILLED ENEMIES PROVE HIS COMPETENCE and THEY ARE LEGION / Newt 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


12 posted on 01/07/2012 8:32:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: All



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

13 posted on 01/07/2012 8:33:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: All
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


14 posted on 01/07/2012 8:33:57 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: All

Feast of
the Holy Name of Jesus


Luke 2:21 "...Et vocatum est Nomen eius IESUS"
("And His Name was called JESUS")

Psalm 90:14 "Because he hoped in me I will deliver him:
I will protect him because he hath known My Name."

Zacharias 10:12 "I will strengthen them in the Lord,
and they shall walk in His Name, saith the Lord."

Apocalypse 3:8 "I know thy works. Behold, I have given before thee a door opened, which no man can shut: because thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied My Name."

Apocalypse 15:4 "Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and magnify Thy Name?..."

 

Blessed be the most holy Name of Jesus without end!



January Devotion: The Holy Name of Jesus

The month of January is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. This feast is also celebrated on January 3. Here is an explanation of the devotion.

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has associated entire months to special devotions. The devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus has been traditionally associated with the month of January, due to its celebration on January 3. The name Jesus was given to the Holy Child at God's command (Luke 1:31). The Holy Name is all-powerful because of the Person who bears it; we honor it because of the command of Christ, that we should pray in His Name and because it reminds us of all the blessings we receive through our Holy Redeemer. Hence St. Paul was able to write to the Philippians: ". . . at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (Phil. 2:10). By means of this devotion we also make amends for improper use of the Holy Name.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Prayer/Hymn in Honor of the Most Holy Name of Jesus - Iesu, Dulcis Memoria

Iesu, Dulcis Memoria is a celebrated 12th century hymn attributed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), Doctor Mellifluus. The entire hymn has some 42 to 53 stanzas depending upon the manuscript. Parts of this hymn were used for the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which was formerly celebrated on the Sunday between the Circumcision and Epiphany, or failing such a Sunday, on January 2. The part below was used at Vespers. In the liturgical revisions of Vatican II, the feast was deleted, though a votive Mass to the Holy Name of Jesus had been retained for devotional use. With the release of the revised Roman Missal in March 2002, the feast was restored as an optional memorial on January 3.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus' name,
The Savior of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart!
0 joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.

Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shalt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity. Amen.

---Roman Breviary

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

O Divine Jesus, Thou hast promised that anything we ask of the Eternal Father in Thy name shall be granted.

O Eternal Father. In the name of Jesus, for the love of Jesus, in fulfillment of this promise, and because Jesus has said it, grant us our petitions for the sake of Jesus, Thy Divine Son. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954


That at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 
Phil:2:10-11
 

 
 

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Jesus, The Name above all Names
Devotion to the Holy Name (of Jesus) [Catholic Caucus]
Lessons In Iconography : The Chi Rho - Christ
St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Excerpt from a Sermon) (Catholic Caucus)
St. Francis de Sales on the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

St. Bernard on the Most Holy Name of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Saving the day in His Holy Name: St. Genevieve gets a reprieve [Catholic Caucus]
The Holy Name of Jesus
Holy Name of Jesus [San Bernadino of Siena] Ecumenical
The Holy Name of Jesus
Devotion to the Holy Name [of Jesus]
The Name of Jesus: Its Power in Our Lives
The Holy Name of Jesus
Devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus
The Holy Name of Jesus

15 posted on 01/07/2012 8:35:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: All

January 2012

Pope's Intentions

General Intention: Victims of Natural Disasters.
That the victims of natural disasters may receive the spiritual and material comfort they need to rebuild their lives.

Missionary Intention: Dedication to Peace.
That the dedication of Christians to peace may bear witness to the name of Christ before all men and women of good will.


16 posted on 01/07/2012 8:36:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: All
Arlington Catholic Herald

Imitate Magi with joy, homage, gift of self
By Fr. Jack Peterson, YA

The Epiphany of the Lord is fittingly celebrated during the Christmas season. It is a celebration of the manifestation of the Lord Jesus to the world. Over the centuries, three different “epiphanies” have been included in this celebration: the wedding at Cana when Jesus was made manifest to the disciples; the baptism of the Lord when He was made manifest to the Jews; and the visit of the Magi when the Lord was made manifest to the gentile world, the whole world. Traditionally, on this feast, Eastern Christians have focused on the baptism of the Lord, while Christians in the West have focused on the adoration of the Magi.

I would like to reflect with you upon the response of the Magi which stands out as something worthy of our imitation 2000 years later.

Matthew recounts that the Magi are “overjoyed” at seeing the star and entering the lodging of the Holy Family. The astrologers from the East are understandably filled with joy as they find the great goal of their long journey, the Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes. The star and the grace of God help them to see that this was no ordinary child.

As Christians, we see in the newborn Babe that God looks with pity upon our lowly human condition and does something about it. The Father’s love leads Him to send His most precious possession, His only begotten Son. God crashes through the barriers of time and space and is born in time of a lowly virgin; He comes to journey with us, to embrace our brokenness, to carry our burdens. The Son pitches His tent among us in order to save us from our sins. The amazing beauty of this great truth should never stop arousing joy in our hearts.

Secondly, Matthew tells us: “They prostrated themselves and did him homage.” In the presence of Jesus, these pilgrims fell to the ground. Did their legs buckle underneath as they become aware of the divine presence? Did the Spirit’s gift of reverence and awe well up in their hearts drive them to their knees?

As Christians, the mystery of the word made flesh still drives us to prostrate ourselves. So does the Blessed Sacrament of the word made flesh. In both mysteries, God overwhelms us with His magnificence and His humility. It is a good thing to fight the tendency to lose the sense of reverence and awe in God’s presence. Sometimes, like the worker who sells souvenirs in the shop at the Grand Canyon and becomes so familiar with the splendor of God’s creation that he fails to take notice of what lies before him, we Catholic Christians can become too “familiar” with the beauty of the Incarnation or the Lord’s presence in the holy Eucharist and fail to respond with the proper faith and reverence.

Thirdly, the Magi opened their treasures and offered gifts to the newborn King. Practically speaking, these gifts likely sustained the Holy Family during their exile in Egypt. More importantly, the gifts represent the total gift of self that God’s greatness demands. It is a very natural and fitting response to the grandeur and generosity of God to share what has been bestowed lovingly upon us.

As modern day followers of Christ, our lives should be marked with a similar generosity. The first response is to offer God worship: a sacrifice of thanksgiving (especially in the Mass), adoration, praise, reverence and awe, daily prayer, and obedience. The worship of God is one way that we can “give” back in a small but significant fashion.

Our worship of God should, then, lead directly to the loving and humble service of our neighbor, the sharing of God’s bounty. True faith makes us aware that everything we have is a gift. Even if we have worked hard for some of our blessings, absolutely everything good ultimately comes from the Lord. What we have received, we have been given to share, especially with those who have less.

The Lord Jesus was made manifest to the world in a grand way when the Magi visited the stable in Bethlehem. Their joy, their homage and their offering of gifts remain an example for those who come before Jesus in 2012.

Fr. Peterson is assistant chaplain at Marymount University in Arlington and director of the Youth Apostles Institute in McLean.


17 posted on 01/07/2012 8:49:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: All
The Work of God

 Three wise men saw his star and came to pay homage to the King Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year B

 -  Epiphany of the Lord

Three wise men saw his star and came to pay homage to the King

Three wise men saw his star and came to pay homage to the King Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Matthew 2:1-12

Matthew 2:1-12 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,
2 asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage."
3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him;
4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.
5 They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
6 'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.' "
7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared.
8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage."
9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.
11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
(NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Epiphany of the Lord - Three wise men saw his star and came to pay homage to the King My birth was marked by a beautiful phenomenon in the heavens that attracted even the attention of three wise men from pagan lands. A star shone brightly and provided them with light and direction for their distant travel. I, the light of the world had come from above and even the stars shone with great beauty paying homage to the one who gave them light.

By divine inspiration the three wise men were moved to make the long journey from different lands, they prepared themselves with gifts to welcome me, the king of the Jews. They were not Jews and yet they were humble men who paid special attention to the signs and the divine inspirations given to them.

I was born in utter poverty, my mother and Joseph had looked for a place to spend that night of my birth but there was no place for us. Humanity was as cold on that night as it is today. Charity was denied to the mother of the savior of the world, and it was denied to me as well. It continues to be denied daily everywhere.

However some humble people were advised of my birth. So the shepherds of the area were visited by the angel of God with good news about the birth of the savior of the world, they came to worship, paid their respects and left full with joy and praise to God, they communicated the events to all those worthy to know.

The wise men also came to present gifts of incense, myrrh and gold which were most fitting for the king they had came to worship. The incense represents the faith which embrace all those who follow me, the myrrh represent the balm for the man of suffering that they unknowingly came to pay homage to. The gold, the most precious of metals was the offering made to the king of kings who came to offer the kingdom of heaven to every man.

And so started my epiphany, a manifestation of my presence among men. I came to my people, but from the very beginning I experienced rejection.

Herod was afraid of the new born king. He thought that I would be a powerful king that would bring about his fall, that is why he started plotting to kill me. The people of Jerusalem, the Jews were afraid in their ignorance, because they had conditioned their religion to reflect human laws not the law of God. They were facing a divine moment in their history and they were not prepared to meet me. In fact they were so jealous of me that in the end they put me to death.

But my Heavenly Father had disposed of my incarnation, so the word took flesh and came to speak, to give light, instruction, testimony of God and to redeem what was lost.

My work continues in every soul.

Open your heart dear child. I am the word of God, speaking to your heart. I have come to the world in the flesh. My spirit is everywhere, touching hearts, calling lovingly to accept my invitation to a perfect life.

Live by my gospel of salvation, eat the bread that I give, put all your confidence in me and I will save you.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


18 posted on 01/07/2012 8:54:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

As we consider the feast of the Epiphany, one of the central elements in the story is the Star. Endless theories on what the star really was, proliferate.

It may even have been the proximity of the planets Jupiter and Saturn that likely occurred around 6 BC. I thought of that the other night, since Jupiter is very bright in the southeastern sky just now, along the East Coast of the US. You can even take high powered binoculars and see some of its moons sparkling around it.

But the fact is, most of us city dwellers have no idea what we’re missing when it comes to the night sky. Up until about 100 years ago the night sky was illumined with billions of points of light, a breath-taking display most moderns have like experience of.

My first and only real glimpse of the magnificent Milky Way was about 15 years ago. I was visiting a priest friend in rural North Dakota. It was mid January, the very heart of winter, and the sky was cloudless, the temperature was just below zero, the humidity very low (thus, no haze). But the wind was light so we took a night time walk. Only an occasional street lamp lit the ground. As we got away from the town, just about half a mile, I looked up and couldn’t believe my eyes.

What is that?” I asked, “Are clouds coming in?
What do you mean?” asked my friend, “There are no clouds.”
What is all that?” I asked arching my arm upward.
He smiled, and said, “They are stars….that is the Milky Way.

I was both astounded and felt a tinge of anger that such a view had been deprived me all my life. So this is what the ancients saw every night. This is what inspired the psalmist to write, The heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament shows forth the work of His hand….night unto night takes up the message (Ps 19:1ff). This is what God meant when he told Abraham “Look up at the heavens and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be” (Gen 15:5).

Frankly, on the east coast of the U.S. I can count the stars. But the true night sky is astonishing in the number of stars. An old hymn says:

The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame
Their great Original proclaim…..

Soon as the evening shades prevail
The moon takes up the wondrous tale…
While all the stars that round her burn
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.

What though in solemn silence all
Move round our dark terrestrial ball?
What though no real voice nor sound
Amid the radiant orbs be found?
In reason’s ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
Forever singing as they shine,
“The hand that made us is divine.”

If there is ever a widespread power outage on the East Coast, I pray it will happen on a cloudless and un-humid night. If it does I will bid my neighbors to join me outside and behold the gift above.

As the Magi beheld a star, we moderns may think we know what they saw. But I have come to discover most of us city dwellers have little idea, really at all. The sky the ancients nightly saw and even some now see, in rural regions, is more glorious than most of us ever imagine: the stars in unbelievable numbers forever singing as they shine, the hand that made us is divine.

This video, in the second half,  shows some wonderful views of the stars in the night sky in high definition. Indeed, if your monitor is a good one, maximize the view of this video, which shows nicely even on larger screens.


19 posted on 01/07/2012 9:05:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

Note: Here in America Epiphany is (sadly) transferred to a nearby Sunday instead of January 6. Hence, this Sunday we read of this event and celebrate it liturgically. With that in mind here are my homily notes for Epiphany, which, for some of you in other parts of the world may seem a bit late.

There are so many wonderful details in the Epiphany story: the call of the Gentiles, the nations, and their enthusiastic response, the significance of the star they see, and the gifts they bring, the dramatic interaction with Herod and their ultimate rejection of him in favor Christ.

In this meditation I would like especially to follow these wise men in their journey of faith. We can observe how they journey in stages from the light of a star, to the bright and glorious Light of Jesus Christ. And, of course to authentically encounter the Lord is to experience conversion. All the elements of this story serve ultimately to cause them to “return to their country by another route.” Let’s look at the stages of their journey to Jesus, let’s walk the way of the wise men.

Stage 1. CALL - The text says – 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.” – Notice first the identity of these individuals. They are called Magi, (μάγοι, (magoi) in Greek) and they are from the East.

Exactly what “Magi” are is debated. Perhaps they are wise men, perhaps they are ancient astronomers. We often think of them as Kings though the text does not call them that. It also seems Herod would have been far more anxious had they been actual potentates from an Eastern Kingdom. In our imagination we often think of them as Kings since Psalm 72, read in today’s Mass, speaks of “Kings” coming from the East bearing gifts of gold and frankincense. However, for the record, the text in today’s gospel does not call them kings, but “magi.”

Yet, here is their key identity: they are Gentiles and they have been called. Up to this point in the Christmas story, only Jews had found their way to Bethlehem. But now the Gentiles come. This detail cannot be overlooked, for it is clear that the gospel is going out to all the world.

St. Paul rejoices in this fact in today’s second reading as he says: that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and co-partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel (Eph 3:6). Most of us are not Jewish by ancestry, and hence we ought to rejoice for in the call of these Magi is prefigured our call.

And notice that God calls them through something in the natural world. In this case a star. God uses something in creation to call out to them.

We do well to wonder what is the star that God used to call us? Perhaps it was Scripture, but more usually, it is first someone God has used to reach us, a parent, a family member, a friend, a priest, religious sister, or devoted lay person. Who are the stars in your life by whom God called you?

God can also use inanimate creation like he did for these Magi. Perhaps it was a beautiful Church, a painting or a song. By someone or something God calls. He puts a star in our sky. These wise men, these Magi, follow the call of God and begin their journey to Jesus.

Stage 2. CONSTANCY - Upon their arrival in Jerusalem the Magi find a rather confusing and perhaps discouraging situation. The reigning King, Herod, knows nothing of the birth of this new King. It must have seemed probable to them that the newborn King would be related to the current King, so his surprise may have confused them. But Herod seems more than surprised, he seems threatened and agitated.

Even more puzzling, he calls religious leaders to further inform him of this King. They open the sacred writings and the Magi hear of a promised King. Ah! So the birth of this king has religious significance! How interesting!

But, these religious leaders seem unenthusiastic of the newborn King and after giving the location of his birth seem to make no effort to follow the Magi. There is no rejoicing, no summoning of the people that a longed for king had finally been born. Not even further inquiry!

So the wicked (e.g. Herod and his court), are wakeful,  and the saints are sleepy. How odd this must have seemed to the Magi. Perhaps it occurred to them to suspend their search. After all, the actual king knew nothing of this birth, and those who did, seemed little interested.

Ah, but praise the Lord they persevere in their search. They do not give up!

Thanks be to God too, that many today have found their way to Christ despite the fact that parents, clergy and others, who should have led them joyfully to Jesus, were either asleep, or ignorant or just plain lazy. I am often amazed at some of the conversion stories I have heard, people who found their way to Christ and his Church, despite some pretty discouraging obstacles like poor religious upbringing, scandalous clergy and bad example. God sometimes allows our faith and call to be tested but Those who persevere to the end will be saved (Matt 24:13).

Stage 3. CONFESSION OF FAITH – The text says, 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. – With what little information they have they set out and continue to follow the call of God through the star.

Note that they enter a “house.” We often think of the Magi as coming that same Christmas night to the cave or stable but it seems not. Mary (Joseph) and Jesus are found now in a house. It would seem that decent lodging has now been found. Has it been days since the birth? Perhaps even longer, but we are likely dealing with a different day than Christmas Day.

Notice too that they “prostrate” themselves before Jesus. The Greek word is προσεκύνησαν (prosekunēsan) which means more literally “to fall down in worship” or “give adoration.” The verb is used 12 times in the New Testament and it is clear each time that religious worship is the purpose of the prostration.

This is no mere homage or a sign of respect to an earthly King, this is religious worship. This is a confession of faith. So our Magi manifest faith!

But is it a real faith, or just a perfunctory observance? It’s not enough to answer an altar call, or to get baptized. Faith is never alone. It is a transformative relationship with Jesus Christ. So lets look for the effects of a real and saving faith.

Stage 4. COST - There is a cost to discipleship. The magi are moved to give three symbolic gifts that show some of what true faith includes. And they are costly gifts.

Gold is a symbol of all our possessions. In laying this gift before Jesus they and we are saying, “I acknowledge that everything I have is yours. I put all my resources and wealth under your authority and will use them only according to your will.” A conversion that has not reached the wallet is not complete.

Frankincense. is the gift of worship, for in the Bible incense is a symbol of prayer and worship (eg. psalm 141). In laying down this gift we promise to pray and worship God all the days of our life. To be in his holy house each Sunday and render him the praise and worship he is due. To listen to his word and to consent to be fed the Eucharist by him. To worship him worthily by frequent confession and to praise him at all times. And they give

Myrrh - a strange gift for an infant. Myrrh is usually understood as burial ointment. Surely this prefigures Jesus’ death but it also symbolizes our own. In laying this gift before Jesus we are saying, my life is yours. I want to die so that you may live your life in me. May you increase and may I decrease. Use me and my life as you will. So here are gifts that are highly symbolic.

The magi manifest more than a little homage to Jesus. They are showing forth the fruits of saving faith. And if we can give these gifts so too are we.

Stage 5. CONVERSION – The text says, And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

Here then is essential evidence for faith: conversion. It is not enough to get happy in Church, we have to obey. Hence, these wise men are walking differently now. They are not going home by the same way they came. They’ve changed direction, they’ve turned around (conversio). They are now willing to walk the straight and narrow path that leads to life rather than the wide road that leads to damnation. They are going to obey Christ. They are going to exhibit what St. Paul calls the “obedience of faith” (Rom 1:5; 16:26). They have not just engaged in a possibly perfunctory worship, they are showing signs of a true and saving faith. They are not just calling Jesus “Lord, Lord!” They are doing what he tells them (cf Luke 6:46).

So there it is. Through careful stages the Lord has brought the Gentiles (this means you) to conversion. He called. They remained constant, confessed him to be Lord, accepted the cost of discipleship and manifested conversion. Have you? Have I?

Walk in the ways of the Wise men! Wise men still seek him. Even wiser ones listen to him and obey. Are we willing to go back to our country by another route? Is on-going conversion part of our journey home to heaven? If Epiphany means “manifestation” how is our faith manifest in our deeds and conversion?

I have it on the best of authority that as the wise men went home by another route they were singing a Gospel song: “It’s a highway to heaven! None can walk up there but the pure in heart. I walking up the King’s Highway. If you’re not walking start while I’m talking. There’ll be a blessing you’ll be possessing, walking up the King’s Highway. “


20 posted on 01/07/2012 9:06:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: RitaOK

Most welcome, FRiend.


21 posted on 01/07/2012 9:10:31 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

Epiphany
Reading I:
Isaiah 60:1-6 II: Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6
Gospel
Matthew 2:1-12

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying,
2 "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him."
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;
4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet:
6 'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'"
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared;
8 and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him."
9 When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy;
11 and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.


Interesting Details
  • (v.1) Herod was appointed King of the Jews by the Roman senate in 40 B.C. He was cunning politically, cruel to his family, and famous for constructing massive buildings and fortresses. When the Magi asked for the newborn "King of the Jews" (v.2) which was official title of Herod, Herod was afraid of a rival.
  • (v.1, 11) The Magi were a priestly caste in Persia. Their knowledge of astrology probably came from Babylon, and their gifts from Arabia. Because of three gifts, tradition settled on three Magi, eventually named Caspar, Balthasar, and Melchior. Caspar also became a black. They represent the whole diverse Gentile world.
  • (v.5) Bethlehem, a small town five miles south of Jerusalem, was the ancestral home of David. Jesus' birth there indicates that he is "Son of David."
  • (v.11) The meanings of the gifts:
    1. Gold: a precious metal reserved only for royalty. Jesus is king.
    2. Frankincense: a favorite part of religious rituals. Its smoke rises like prayer. Jesus is God.
    3. Myrrh: used to heal and embalm a dead body. Jesus is man, whose suffering saves the world.

One Main Point

THE REVELATION OF GOD TO THE WORLD.
The Magi from around the world search for Jesus and pay him homage, while Herod only pretends to do so. At the beginning of the Gospel, these Gentile Astrologers point to the conclusion of the Gospel, when the disciples pay Jesus homage, and Jesus told them to "make disciples of all the Gentiles." (28:17-20)


Reflections
  1. By what signs do I recognize Jesus? How do I feel when I recognize these signs? Then what do I do?
  2. Have I looked for and found Jesus? What does Jesus look like? What does he say?
  3. What gifts do I bring Jesus? How does Jesus receive my gifts?

22 posted on 01/07/2012 9:18:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


23 posted on 01/07/2012 9:27:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Jan 08, Invitatory for Epiphany of the Lord

Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Christ has appeared to us; come, let us adore him.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant.

The Lord is God, the mighty God,
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the highest mountains as well
He made the sea; it belongs to him,
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship,
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker,
For he is our God and we are his people,
the flock he shepherds.

Ant.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did
in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah
they challenged me and provoked me,
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant.

Forty years I endured that generation.
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger,
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Christ has appeared to us; come, let us adore him.

24 posted on 01/08/2012 1:22:29 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Jan 08, Office of Readings – Solemnity for Epiphany of the Lord

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 649
All from 551 to 562

Christian Prayer:
Does not contain Office of Readings.

Office of Readings for the Solemnity of Epiphany

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Jesu, joy of man’s desiring,
Holy wisdom, love most bright;
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light.
Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,
With the fire of life impassioned,
Striving still to truth unknown,
Soaring, dying round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding,
Hark, what peaceful music rings;
Where the flock, in Thee confiding,
Drink of joy from deathless springs.
Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure;
Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure.
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
In the love of joys unknown.

Jesu Joy Of Man’s Desiring by Madeleine Choir, Salt Lake City, Utah; Words: Martin Janus, 1661. Music: Johann Schop (1590-1664).

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 From Tarshish and from the islands, kings have come to offer gifts to the Lord our King.

Psalm 72

O God, give your judgment to the king,
to a king’s son your justice,
that he may judge your people in justice
and your poor in right judgment.

May the mountains bring forth peace for the people
and the hills, justice.
May he defend the poor of the people
and save the children of the needy
and crush the oppressor.

He shall endure like the sun and the moon
from age to age.
He shall descend like rain on the meadow,
like raindrops on the earth.

In his days justice shall flourish
and peace till the moon fails.
He shall rule from sea to sea,
from the Great River to earth’s bounds.

Before him his enemies shall fall,
his foes lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and the seacoasts
shall pay him tribute.

The kings of Sheba and Seba
shall bring him gifts.
Before him all kings shall fall prostrate,
all nations shall serve him.

For he shall save the poor when they cry
and the needy who are helpless.
He will have pity on the weak
and save the lives of the poor.

From oppression he will rescue their lives,
to him their blood is dear.
Long may he live,
may the gold of Sheba be given him.
They shall pray for him without ceasing
and bless him all the day.

May corn be abundant in the land
to the peaks of the mountains.
May its fruit rustle like Lebanon;
may people flourish in the cities
like grass on the earth.

May his name be blessed for ever
and endure like the sun.
Every tribe shall be blessed in him,
all nations bless his name.

Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel,
who alone works wonders,
ever blessed his glorious name.
Let his glory fill the earth.
Amen! Amen!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. From Tarshish and from the islands, kings have come to offer gifts to the Lord our King.

Ant. 2 Adore the Lord in his holy court, alleluia.

Psalm 96

O sing a new song to the Lord,
sing to the Lord all the earth.
O sing to the Lord, bless his name.

Proclaim his help day by day,
tell among the nations his glory
and his wonders among all the peoples.

The Lord is great and worthy of praise,
to be feared above all gods;
the gods of the heathens are naught.

It was the Lord who made the heavens,
his are majesty and state and power
and splendor in his holy place.

Give the Lord, you families of peoples,
give the Lord glory and power;
give the Lord the glory of his name.

Bring an offering and enter his courts,
worship the Lord in his temple.
O earth, tremble before him.

Proclaim to the nations: God is king.
The world he made firm in its place;
he will judge the people in fairness.

Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad,
let the sea and all within it thunder praise,
let the land and all it bears rejoice,
all the trees of the wood shout for joy

at the presence of the Lord for he comes,
he comes to rule the earth.
With justice he will rule the world,
he will judge the peoples with his truth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Adore the Lord in his holy court, alleluia.

Ant. 3 Worship the Lord, all you his angels, alleluia.

Psalm 97

The Lord is king, let earth rejoice,
let all the coastlands be glad.
Cloud and darkness are his raiment;
his throne, justice and right.

A fire prepares his path;
it burns up his foes on every side.
His lightnings light up the world,
the earth trembles at the sight.

The mountains melt like wax
before the Lord of all the earth.
The skies proclaim his justice;
all peoples see his glory.

Let those who serve idols be ashamed,
those who boast of their worthless gods.
All you spirits, worship him.

Zion hears and is glad;
the people of Judah rejoice
because of your judgments, O Lord.

For you indeed are the Lord
most high above all the earth,
exalted far above all spirits.

The Lord loves those who hate evil;
he guards the souls of his saints;
he sets them free from the wicked.

Light shines forth for the just
and joy for the upright of heart.
Rejoice, you just, in the Lord;
give glory to his holy name.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Worship the Lord, all you his angels, alleluia.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell)
A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

The heavens proclaim the justice of God.
All nations shall see his glory

READINGS

First Reading
From the book of the prophet Isaiah
60:1-22
The revelation of God’s glory over Jerusalem

Rise up in splendor, O Jerusalem! Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.

See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
But upon you the Lord shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.

Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
Your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.
Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
For the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.

Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
All from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the Lord.

All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered for you,
the rams of Nebaioth shall be your sacrifices;
They will be acceptable offerings on my altar,
and I will enhance the splendor of my house.

What are these that fly along like clouds,
like doves to their cotes?
All the vessels of the sea are assembled,
with the ships of Tarshish in the lead,

To bring your children from afar
with their silver and gold,
In the name of the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you.

Foreigners shall rebuild your walls,
and their kings shall be your attendants;
Though I struck you in my wrath,
yet in my good will I have shown you mercy.

Your gates shall stand open constantly;
day and night they shall not be closed
But shall admit to you the wealth of nations,
and their kings, in the vanguard.
For the people or kingdom shall perish
that does not serve you;
those nations shall be utterly destroyed.

The glory of Lebanon shall come to you:
the cypress, the plane and the pine,
To bring beauty to my sanctuary,
and glory to the place where I set my feet.

The children of your oppressors shall come,
bowing low before you;
All those who despised you
shall fall prostrate at your feet.
They shall call you “City of the Lord,”
“Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”

Once you were forsaken,
hated and unvisited,
Now I will make you the pride of the ages,
a joy to generation after generation.

You shall suck the milk of nations,
and be nursed at royal breasts;
You shall know that I, the Lord, am your savior,
your redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

In place of bronze I will bring gold,
instead of iron, silver;
In place of wood, bronze,
instead of stones, iron;
I will appoint peace your governor,
and justice your ruler.

No longer shall violence be heard of in your land,
or plunder and ruin within your boundaries.
You shall call your walls “Salvation”
and your gates “Praise.”

No longer shall the sun
be your light by day,
Nor the brightness of the moon
shine upon you at night;
The Lord shall be your light forever,
your God shall be your glory.

No longer shall your sun go down,
or your moon withdraw,
For the Lord will be your light forever,
and the days of your mourning shall be at an end.

Your people shall all be just,
they shall always possess the land,
They, the bud of my planting,
my handiwork to show my glory.

The smallest shall become a thousand,
the youngest, a mighty nation;
I, the Lord, will swiftly accomplish these things
when their time comes.

RESPONSORY Isaiah 60:1, 3

Arise, shine forth, Jerusalem, for now your light has come:
the glory of your God has risen upon you.

All nations will walk in your brightness, and kings in the splendor of your dawn.
The glory of your God has risen upon you.

Second reading
From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
The Lord has made his salvation known to the whole world

The loving providence of God determined that in the last days he would aid the world, set on its course to destruction. He decreed that all nations should be saved in Christ.

A promise had been made to the holy patriarch Abraham in regard to these nations. He was to have a countless progeny, born not from his body but from the seed of faith. His descendants are therefore compared with the array of the stars. The father of all nations was to hope not in an earthly progeny but in a progeny from above.

Let the full number of the nations now take their place in the family of the patriarchs. Let the children of the promise now receive the blessing in the seed of Abraham, the blessing renounced by the children of his flesh. In the persons of the Magi let all people adore the Creator of the universe; let God be known, not in Judea only, but in the whole world, so that his name may be great in all Israel.

Dear friends, now that we have received instruction in this revelation of God’s grace, let us celebrate with spiritual joy the day of our first harvesting, of the first calling of the Gentiles. Let us give thanks to the merciful God, who has made us worthy, in the words of the Apostle, to share the position of the saints in light; who has rescued us from the power of darkness, and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. As Isaiah prophesied: the people of the Gentiles, who sat in darkness, have seen a great light, and for those who dwelt in the region of the shadow of death a light has dawned. He spoke of them to the Lord: The Gentiles, who do not know you, will invoke you, and the peoples, who knew you not, will take refuge in you.

This is the day that Abraham saw, and rejoiced to see, when he knew that the sons born of his faith would be blessed in his seed, that is, in Christ. Believing that he would be the father of the nations, he looked into the future, giving glory to God, in full awareness that God is able to do what he has promised.

This is the day that David prophesied in the psalms, when he said: All the nations that you have brought into being will come and fall down in adoration in your presence, Lord, and glorify your name. Again, the Lord has made known his salvation; in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.

This came to be fulfilled, as we know, from the time when the star beckoned the three wise men out of their distant country and led them to recognize and adore the King of heaven and earth. The obedience of the star calls us to imitate its humble service: to be servants, as best we can, of the grace that invites all men to find Christ.

Dear friends, you must have the same zeal to be of help to one another; then, in the kingdom of God, to which faith and good works are the way, you will shine as children of the light: through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with God the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

RESPONSORY

This is the glorious day on which Christ himself, the savior of the world, appeared; the prophets foretold him, the angels worshiped him;
the Magi saw his star and rejoiced to lay their treasures at his feet.

God’s holy day has dawned for us at last; come, all you peoples, and adore the Lord.
The Magi saw his star and rejoiced to lay their treasures at his feet.

TE DEUM

You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.
We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
And we shall never hope in vain.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

May the splendor of your majesty,
O Lord, we pray,
shed its light upon our hearts,
that we may pass through the shadows of this world
and reach the brightness of our eternal home.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

25 posted on 01/08/2012 1:22:37 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Jan 08, Morning Prayer – Solemnity for Epiphany of the Lord

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 653
Propers: 562
Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I, 688

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 689
Propers: 211
Psalter: Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I, 707

Morning Prayer for the Solemnity of Epiphany

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God’s holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

“O come, all ye faithful” by The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge; Text: Originally written in Latin (Adeste Fideles) is attributed to John Wade; Music: John Reading in the early 1700s; Translation: Rev. Frederick Oakley

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 The wise men opened their treasures and offered to the Lord gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, alleluia.

Psalm 63:2-9
A soul thirsting for God

Whoever has left the darkness of sin yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The wise men opened their treasures and offered to the Lord gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, alleluia.

Ant. 2 Mighty seas and rivers, bless the Lord; springs of water, sing his praises, alleluia.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56
Let all creatures praise the Lord

All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to him (Revelation 19:5).

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord.
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
Praise worthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

Ant. Mighty seas and rivers, bless the Lord; springs of water, sing his praises, alleluia.

Ant. 3 Jerusalem, your light has come; the glory of the Lord dawns upon you. Men of every race shall walk in the splendor of your sunrise, alleluia.

Psalm 149
The joy of God’s holy people.

Let the sons of the Church, the children of the new people, rejoice in Christ, their King (Hesychius).

Sing a new song to the Lord,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained;
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Jerusalem, your light has come; the glory of the Lord dawns upon you. Men of every race shall walk in the splendor of your sunrise, alleluia.

READING Isaiah 52:7-10

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings glad tidings,
Announcing peace, bearing good news,
announcing salvation, and saying to Zion,
“Your God is king!”
Hark! Your watchmen raise a cry,
together they shout for joy,
For they see directly, before their eyes,
the Lord restoring Zion.
Break out together in song,
O ruins of Jerusalem!
For the Lord comforts his people,
he redeems Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations;
All the ends of the earth will behold
the salvation of our God.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

RESPONSORY

All the kings of earth will bow down in worship.
All the kings of earth will bow down in worship.

Men and women of every nation will serve him.
They will bow down in worship.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
All the kings of earth will bow down in worship.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. Today the Bridegroom claims his bride, the Church, since Christ has washed her sins away in Jordan’s waters; the Magi hasten with their gifts to the royal wedding; and the wedding guests rejoice, for Christ has changed water into wine, alleluia.

Luke 1:68 – 79
The Messiah and his forerunner

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Today the Bridegroom claims his bride, the Church, since Christ has washed her sins away in Jordan’s waters; the Magi hasten with their gifts to the royal wedding; and the wedding guests rejoice, for Christ has changed water into wine, alleluia.

INTERCESSIONS

Today our Savior was adored by the Magi. Let us also worship him with joy as we pray:
Light from Light, shine on us this day.

Christ, you revealed yourself in the flesh,
sanctify us through prayer and the word of God.
Light from Light, shine on us this day.

Christ, your witness was the Spirit,
free our lives from the spirit of doubt.
Light from Light, shine on us this day.

Christ, you revealed yourself to the angels,
help us to feel the joy of heaven on earth.
Light from Light, shine on us this day.

Christ, you were proclaimed to the nations,
by the power of the Holy Spirit open the hearts of all.
Light from Light, shine on us this day.

Christ, you generated faith in the world,
renew the faith of all believers.
Light from Light, shine on us this day.

Christ, you were taken up in glory,
enkindle in us a longing for your kingdom.
Light from Light, shine on us this day.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Concluding Prayer

May the splendor of your majesty,
O Lord, we pray,
shed its light upon our hearts,
that we may pass through the shadows of this world
and reach the brightness of our eternal home.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

26 posted on 01/08/2012 1:22:37 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Jan 08, Midday Prayer – Solemnity for Epiphany of the Lord

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 661
All from page 565 to 569

Midday Prayer (Sext) for the Solemnity of Epiphany

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Saw you never, in the twilight,
When the sun had left the skies,
Up in Heav’n the clear stars shining
Through the gloom, like silver eyes?
So of old the wise men, watching,
Saw a little stranger star,
And they knew the King was given,
And they followed it from afar.

Heard you never of the story
How they crossed the desert wild,
Journeyed on by plain and mountain,
Till they found the holy Child?
How they opened all their treasure,
Kneeling to that infant King;
Gave the gold and fragrant incense,
Gave the myrrh in offering?

Know ye not that lowly Baby
Was the bright and morning Star?
He Who came to light the Gentiles,
And the darkened isles afar?
And we, too, may seek His cradle;
There our hearts’ best treasures bring;
Love, and faith, and true devotion
For our Savior, God and King.

“The King Was Given” by The Schola Cantorum of St. Peter’s in the Loop; Text: Cecil F. Alexander, 1853;

PSALMODY

Ant. Christ Jesus has come, bringing the joyful news: peace to those who were far off; peace to those who are near.

Psalm 47

All peoples, clap your hands,
cry to God with shouts of joy!
For the Lord, the Most High, we must fear,
great king over all the earth.

He subdues peoples under us
and nations under our feet.
Our inheritance, our glory, is from him,
given to Jacob out of love.

God goes up with shouts of joy;
the Lord goes up with trumpet blast.
Sing praise for God, sing praise,
sing praise to our king, sing praise.

God is king of all the earth,
sing praise with all your skill.
God is king over the nations;
God reigns on his holy throne.

The princes of the people are assembled
with the people of Abraham’s God.
The rulers of the earth belong to God,
to God who reigns over all.

Psalm 86:1-10

Turn your ear, O Lord, and give answer
for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am faithful;
save the servant who trusts in you.

You are my God, have mercy on me, Lord,
for I cry to you all the day long.
Give joy to your servant, O Lord,
for to you I lift up my soul.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
full of love to all who call.
Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my voice.

In the day of distress I will call
and surely you will reply.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord;
nor work to compare with yours.

All the nations shall come to adore you
and glorify your name, O Lord:
for you are great and do marvelous deeds,
you who alone are God.

Psalm 98

Sing a new song to the Lord
for he has worked wonders.
His right and hand his holy arm
have brought salvation.

The Lord has made known his salvation;
has shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth and love
for the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth,
ring out your joy.

Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp
with the sound of music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
acclaim the King, the Lord.

Let the sea and all within it, thunder;
the world, and all its peoples.
Let the rivers clap their hands
and the hills ring out their joy

at the presence of the Lord: for he comes,
he comes to rule the earth.
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with fairness.

Ant. Christ Jesus has come, bringing the joyful news: peace to those who were far off; peace to those who are near.

READING Isaiah 49:6

The Lord said to me:
It is too little for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell)
A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

All nations will see the glory of your holy One.
All the kings of the earth will acknowledge your majesty.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

May the splendor of your majesty,
O Lord, we pray,
shed its light upon our hearts,
that we may pass through the shadows of this world
and reach the brightness of our eternal home.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

27 posted on 01/08/2012 1:22:43 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Jan 08, Evening Prayer II – Solemnity for Epiphany of the Lord

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 667
Propers: 569
Psalms, canticle, and antiphons, 569

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 694
Propers: 214
Psalms, canticle, and antiphons, 214

Evening Prayer II for the Solemnity of Epiphany

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

As with gladness, men of old
Did the guiding star behold
As with joy they hailed its light
Leading onward, beaming bright
So, most glorious Lord, may we
Evermore be led to Thee.

As with joyful steps they sped
To that lowly manger bed
There to bend the knee before
Him Whom Heaven and earth adore;
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy seat.

As they offered gifts most rare
At that manger rude and bare;
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King.

Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

In the heavenly country bright,
Need they no created light;
Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down;
There forever may we sing
Alleluias to our King!

“As with gladness, men of old” by The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge; Words: William C. Dix, 1860. He wrote this hymn on the day of the Epiphany, while sick in bed; it was first published in his Hymns of Love and Joy.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 He comes in splendor, the King who is our peace; he is supreme over all the kings of the earth.

Psalm 110:1-5, 7

The Lord’s revelation to my Master:
“Sit on my right:
your foes I will put beneath your feet.”

The Lord will wield from Zion
your scepter of power:
rule in the midst of all your foes.

A prince from the day of your birth
on the holy mountains;
from the womb before the dawn I begot you.

The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change.
“You are a priest for ever,
a priest like Melchizedeck of old.”

The Master standing at your right hand
will shatter kings in the day of his wrath.

He shall drink from the stream by the wayside
and therefore he shall lift up his head.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. He comes in splendor, the King who is our peace; he is supreme over all the kings of the earth.

Ant. 2 A light has shone through the darkness for the upright of heart; the Lord is gracious, merciful and just.

Psalm 112

Happy the man who fears the Lord,
who take delight in all his commands.
His sons shall be powerful on earth;
the children of the upright are blessed.

Riches and wealth are in his house;
his justice stands firm for ever.
He is a light in the darkness for the upright:
he is generous, merciful and just.

The good man takes pity and lends,
he conducts his affairs with honor.
The just man will never waver:
he will be remembered for ever.

He has no fear of evil news;
with a firm heart he trusts in the Lord.
With a steadfast heart he will not fear;
he will see the downfall of his foes.

Open-handed, he gives to the poor;
his justice stands firm for ever.
His head will be raised in glory.

The wicked man sees and is angry,
grinds his teeth and fades away;
the desire of the wicked leads to doom.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. A light has shone through the darkness for the upright of heart; the Lord is gracious, merciful and just.

Ant. 3 All the people, whom you have made, will come and worship before you, Lord.

Canticle – Revelation 15:3-4

Mighty and wonderful are your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Righteous and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!

Who would dare refuse you honor,
or the glory due your name, O Lord?

Since you alone are holy,
all nations shall come
and worship in your presence.
Your mighty deeds are clearly seen.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. All the people, whom you have made, will come and worship before you, Lord.

READING Titus 3:4-5

When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us; not because of any righteous deeds we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the baptism of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

RESPONSORY

All peoples will be blessed in him, men and women of every race.
All peoples will be blessed in him, men and women of every race.

All nations will acclaim his glory.
Men and women of every race.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
All peoples will be blessed in him, men and women of every race.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Three mysteries mark this holy day: today the star leads the Magi to the infant Christ; today water is changed into wine for the wedding feast; today Christ wills to be baptized by John in the river Jordan to bring us salvation.

Luke 1:46-55
The soul rejoices in the Lord

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Three mysteries mark this holy day: today the star leads the Magi to the infant Christ; today water is changed into wine for the wedding feast; today Christ wills to be baptized by John in the river Jordan to bring us salvation.

INTERCESSIONS

On this day our Savior was adored by the Magi. Let us also worship him with joy as we pray:
Save the poor, O Lord.

King of the nations, you called the Magi to adore you as the first representatives of the nations,
give us a willing spirit of adoration and service.
Save the poor, O Lord.

King of glory, you judge your people with justice,
grant mankind an abundant measure of peace.
Save the poor, O Lord.

King of ages, you endure from age to age,
send your word as fresh spring rain falling on our hearts.
Save the poor, O Lord.

King of justice, you desire to free the poor who have no advocate,
be compassionate to the suffering and the afflicted.
Save the poor, O Lord.

Lord, your name is blessed for all ages,
show the wonders of your saving power to our deceased brothers and sisters.
Save the poor, O Lord.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Concluding Prayer

May the splendor of your majesty,
O Lord, we pray,
shed its light upon our hearts,
that we may pass through the shadows of this world
and reach the brightness of our eternal home.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

28 posted on 01/08/2012 1:22:51 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Jan 08, Night Prayer for Sunday of the 3rd week of Christmas

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours:
Vol I, page 1172
Vol II, Page 1628
Vol III, Page 1272
Vol IV, Page 1236

Christian Prayer:
Page 1037

Night Prayer after Evening Prayer II on Sundays and Solemnities

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Examination of conscience:

We are called to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and to ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask for His strength to do better.

Kýrie, eléison
Kýrie, eléison

Christé, eléison
Christé, eléison

Kýrie, eléison
Kýrie, eléison

HYMN

O radiant Light, O Son divine
Of God the Father’s deathless face
O image of the light sublime
That fills the heavenly dwelling-place

Lord Jesus Christ, as daylight fades
As shine the lights of eventide
We praise the Father with the Son
The spirit blest and with them one.

O Son of God, the source of life
Praise is your due by night and day
Unsullied lips must raise the strain
Of your proclaimed and splendid name.

O Radiant Light by Choir of The Cathedral of the Madeleine & The Madeleine Choir School; Lyrics copyright 1973, Fides Publishers, Inc. Notre Dame, Indiana from “Morning Praise and Evensong”. Used by permission of the publisher for non-profit or devotional purposes.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Night holds no terrors for me sleeping under God’s wings.

Psalm 91
Safe in God’s sheltering care

I have given you the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions (Luke 10:19).

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: “My refuge,
my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!”

It is he who will free you from the snare
of the fowler who seeks to destroy you;
he will conceal you with his pinions
and under his wings you will find refuge.

You will not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the plague that prowls in the darkness
nor the scourge that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand fall at your right,
you, it will never approach;
his faithfulness is buckler and shield.

Your eyes have only to look
to see how the wicked are repaid,
you who have said: “Lord, my refuge!”
and have made the Most High your dwelling.

Upon you no evil shall fall,
no plague approach where you dwell.
For you has he commanded his angels,
to keep you in all your ways.

They shall bear you upon their hands
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
On the lion and the viper you will tread
and trample the young lion and the dragon.

Since he clings to me in love, I will free him;
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: “I am with you,”
I will save him in distress and give him glory.

With length of life I will content him;
I shall let him see my saving power.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Night holds no terrors for me sleeping under God’s wings.

READING Revelation 22:4-5

They shall see the Lord face to face and bear his name on their foreheads. The night shall be no more. They will need no light from lamps or the sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever.

RESPONSORY

Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
I commend my spirit.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

GOSPEL CANTICLE

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32
Christ is the light of the nations and the glory of Israel

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:

my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Concluding Prayer

Lord,
we have celebrated today
the mystery of the rising of Christ to new life.
May we now rest in your peace,
safe from all that could harm us,
and rise again refreshed and joyful,
to praise you throughout another day.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Blessing

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death.
Amen.

Antiphon or song in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary

29 posted on 01/08/2012 1:22:55 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
The Epiphany of the Lord

The Epiphany of the Lord
Solemnity
January 6th
(In the United States the feast is celebrated the first Sunday following January 1st )


Pietro Perugino
Adoration of the Kings (Epiphany)
c. 1476 - Panel, 241 x 180 cm
Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia

The Magi set out because of a deep desire which prompted them to leave everything and begin a journey. It was as though they had always been waiting for that star. It was as if the journey had always been a part of their destiny, and was finally about to begin.

Pope Benedict XVI
Addoress to seminarians in Cologne,
August 19, 2005


History, Traditions, Customs | Prayers & Blessings | Readings for Mass |
Excerpt from the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

Epiphany
HISTORY, TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS
The Church's celebration of Epiphany ("manifestation), the "twelfth night of Christmas," apparently originated in Egypt sometime during the third century, thus the Church's celebration of this feast predates even the celebration of Christmas itself.

Epiphany is traditionally celebrated in honor of Christ's birth, of the adoration of the Magi, and of the baptism of Christ's (also celebrated on the first Sunday following Epiphany), three manifestations of the Lord's divinity.

Because the Magi came form the Orient, many of the traditional foods served on this day are spicy. Spice cake is often baked for dessert, and entrees may include curry powder or other pungent spices.

Several lovely family customs are associated with Epiphany. It is on Epiphany that the Christmas creche is finally completed, as the figures of the three wise men at last arrive at the crib. In many families, the wise men are moved a bit closer to the crib every day from Christmas Day until Epiphany. Also, recalling the gifts to the Infant Jesus, many families exchange small gifts.

A time-honored custom (especially in France) is the baking of a cake with a bean or trinket hidden inside. The person whose cake contains the bean is made king of the feast. Processions of robed and crowned "wise men" to the manger are fun for little ones, and provide them with an opportunity to think of a good deed that they can offer as a gift to Jesus.

The blessing of the home is also a popular Epiphany custom. using specially blessed chalk (your parish priest will bless the chalk, if you ask, or use the prayer of blessing below), many households mark their entrance door with the year and with the inscription CMB, the initial Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, the names of the three wise man in legend. The inscription also stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means "Christ, bless this home." The popular form the inscription takes is 20+C+M+B+03. It remains above the doorway until Pentecost.

In England, Twelfth Night was traditionally celebrated with a drink called Lamb's Wool, made of cider or ale, with roasted apples and sugar and spices (see recipe below). It was the custom to bless apple trees on that night by pouring a libation of cider on them.

A common custom in many cultures, is the Epiphany cake containing a trinket or bean, the person who finds it in his piece becoming the king of the feast. Sometimes there are two trinkets, or one bean and one pea: one for a king and one one for a queen. In the royal courts of the later Middle Ages, these customs were very popular. Some believe these celebrations derived from pagan Roman customs associated with Saturnalia, which fell at around the same time as Christmas. If so, it can be seen as an example of "inculturation", or transforming pre-Christian customs and practices by giving them Christian significance. The Roman theme of the lordship of the feast was easily shifted to the Epiphany theme of kingship: that of Christ himself and of the Magi, or "Three Kings".

Different parts of Europe have different traditional recipes for the Epiphany cake -- from the almond-paste-filled pastry, the French "galette de Rois" topped by golden paper crown, to the British fruit-filled, iced and layered confection. Some bakeries feature these cakes during the holiday season. Following is a simple cake for busy families with small children.

Epiphany cake

This cake is unforgettable to children, and an opportunity to underscore the meaning of Epiphany. A cake studded with candy jewels like a crown, and/or topped by a golden paper crown can help young children understand the Epiphany as the recognition, by the Magi ("three Kings"), of the Infant Jesus as Christ the King.

The coin or bean in the cake is a pleasant tradition. The one who gets the coin or bean gets to wear the paper crown as king or queen of the feast -- and is has the "royal privilege" of writing the inscription over the door.

You will need a cake, homemade or store-bought. (If yours is a store-brought cake, you can make little slits in the layers before decorating the cake, and carefully insert the coin or bean.)

Icing, homemade or store-bought. You may wish to tint the icing yellow to suggest the gold for the crown. Use yellow food coloring.

Lots of decorations: multicolored gumdrops, jelly beans, chocolate kisses, gold and silver balls -- or whatever your children like to use for decoration.

A gold paper crown. (You can make one from gold wrapping paper or doilies, if you cannot easily find one to buy.)

Lamb's Wool

This Old English and Irish punch, which dates form the Middle Ages, probably gets its name from the wooly appearance of the flesh of the roasted apples floating in the cider.

6 baking apples, cored
2 tablespoons to 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 quarts sweet cider, or hard cider, or ale ­or a mixture of cider and ale
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Roast the apples in a baking pan at 450 degrees F. for about an hour, or until they are very soft and begin to burst. (An alternative and quicker procedure is to peel and boil the apples until they are very soft and flaky.) You may leave the apples whole, or break them up.

In a large saucepan, dissolve the sugar a few tablespoons at a time in the cider or ale, tasting for sweetness. Add the spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the liquid over the apples in a large punch bowl, or serve in large heat resistant mugs.

Yield: About 8 one-cup servings

Prayers, Blessings

Blessing of Chalk
Let us pray. O Lord God, bless this creature chalk to make it helpful to man. Grant that we who use it with faith and inscribe with it upon the entrance of our homes may enjoy physical health and spiritual protection. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
House Blessing
Lord God of Heaven and Earth, who hast revealed thine only-begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star: Bless this house and all who inhabit it. Fill them with the light of Christ, that their love for others may truly reflect thy love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture Readings

The Scripture selections below are those given in the Lectionary for Mass for the Epiphany. We present the reading from Isaiah in two versions: in the poetic English of the King James Version, well known to English-speaking people because it was used by Georg Frederick Handel in his oratorio, Messiah; and from the New American Bible (U.S. Lectionary). The Epistle and Gospel passages are from the Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition, acknowledged to be the most accurate of the contemporary English translations.

Collect - Vigil Mass
May the splendor of your majesty, O Lord, we pray,
shed its light upon our hearts,
that we amy pass through the shadows of this world
and reach the brightness of our eternal home.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of hte Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

Collect - Mass during the Day
O God, who on this day
revealed your Only Begotten Son to the nations
by the guidance of a star,
grant in your mercy
that we, who know you already by faith,
may be brought to behold the beauty of your sublime glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

 

First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and His glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Lift up your eyes round about, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be carried in the arms. Then you shall see and be radiant, your heart shall thrill and rejoice; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm 72: 1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Give the king thy justice,
O God, and thy righteousness to the royal son!
May he judge thy people with righteousness,
and thy poor with justice!

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

In his days may righteousness flourish,
and peace abound, till the moon be no more!
May he have dominion from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth!

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute,
may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!
May all kings fall down before him,
all nations serve him!

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

For he delivers the needy when he calls,
the poor and him who has no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Second Reading: Ephesians 3:2-3a,5-6

You have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation. Which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Gospel Reading - Matthew 2:1-12

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star at its in the East, and have come to worship him."

When Herod the kingheard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: 'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler, who will govern my people Israel.'"

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him."

When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother and they fell down and worshipped him.

Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of god, frankincense, and myrrh.

And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.



Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany
In the following excerpt from the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy we find descriptions of customs and traditions of this great feast of the Church -- many of which could be adapted (or revived) for use in Catholic families.

118. Many traditions and genuine manifestations of popular piety have been developed in relation to the Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany, which is of ancient origin and rich in spiritual content. Among such forms of popular piety, mention may be made of :

  • the solemn proclamation of Easter and the principal dominical feasts; its revival in many places would be opportune since it served to make the connection between the Epiphany and Easter, and orientate all feasts towards the greatest Christian solemnity;
  • the exchange of "Epiphany gifts", which derives from the gifts offered to Jesus by the three kings (cf. Mt 2,11) and more radically from the gift made to mankind by God in the birth of Emmanuel amongst us (cf. Is 7, 14; 9, 16; Mt 1, 23). It is important, however, to ensure that the exchange of gifts on the solemnity of the Epiphany retain a Christian character, indicating that its meaning is evangelical: hence the gifts offered should be a genuine expression of popular piety and free from extravagance, luxury, and waste, all of which are extraneous to the Christian origins of this practice;
  • the blessing of homes, on whose lintels are inscribed the Cross of salvation, together with the indication of the year and the initials of the three wise men (C+M+B) [Caspar, Melchoir, Balshazzar], which can also be interpreted to mean Christus mansionem benedicat [Christ bless this home], written in blessed chalk; this custom, often accompanied by processions of children accompanied by their parents, expresses the blessing of Christ through the intercession of the three wise men and is an occasion for gathering offerings for charitable and missionary purposes;
  • initiatives in solidarity with those who come from afar; whether Christian or not, popular piety has encouraged a sense of solidarity and openness;
  • assistance to the work of evangelisation; the strong missionary character of the Epiphany has been well understood by popular piety and many initiatives in support of the missions flourish on 6 January, especially the "Missionary work of the Holy Child", promoted by the Apostolic See;
  • the assignation of Patrons; in many religious communities and confraternities, patron saints are assigned to the members for the coming year.

30 posted on 01/08/2012 8:15:06 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: All
Happy Epiphany! ...sort of
6th January, The Epiphany of Our Lord
St. John Chrysostom's Homily for the Feast of the Theophany (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Wise Men from the East and the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord [Ecumenical]
Ancient Document Sheds New Light on Magi Story
The Epiphany of the Lord
Straight Answers: Who Were the Magi?

OU Professor Says Ancient Text Reveals Startling Information About Magi, Star of Bethlehem
The Gift of the Magi
Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh On the Feast of the Epiphany
FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY (THEOPHANY) OF OUR LORD - January 6, 2010
New security as pope leads Mass for Epiphany
The Magi and the Star -- Epiphany Explored
Three Kings festivities in full swing around [Puerto Rico]
"A strange mingling of light and shadow..." On the Feast of Epiphany
Wise Men from the East -- Epiphany

The Feast of the Epiphany
The Magi and the Star
The Secret Life of the Magi Kings [Epiphany]
Wise Men from the East [Ecumenical - with a question]
Feast of the Epiphany (2)
Feast of the Epiphany (1)
Epiphany (when the Gentile visitors brought gifts) [Ecumenical]
Twelfth Night [Eve of the Feast of the Epiphany]
A Christmas Pilgrimage (maintaining Christmas until Epiphany)
Christmastide and Epiphany

Epiphany Revealed (Did the Wise Men Really Have Names?)
For the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord 'Three Kings' Seek, Find, and Worship the Lord
The Universal King
Helena's (Mother of Constantine) Epiphany Meditation
EPIPHANY - THREE KINGS - January 6 (Holy Day of Obligation)
The Epiphany of the Roman Primacy
Thousands watch teens dive for the cross in Tarpon Springs
The Season of Epiphany
Tarpon Springs Celebrates Epiphany
100th Epiphany Day Event Will Be Global Celebration

Patriarch Adds To Epiphany Pomp
Ready for "Little Christmas"?
The Magi and the Host
Another Christian Holiday Celebrated
Christmas and Epiphany
India's Zoroastrians and the Three Kings for Jesus
Journeying with the Magi
Who Were The Magi?
Were the Magi who visited Jesus -- Persian?
The Journey of the Magi

31 posted on 01/08/2012 8:16:05 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: All


Information:
Epiphany of the Lord
Feast Day: January 6

32 posted on 01/08/2012 8:24:26 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: All



Information: St. Apollinaris of Hierapolis

Feast Day: January 8
Died: 175

33 posted on 01/08/2012 8:25:22 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Thorfinn


Feast Day: January 08
Born: (around) 1230 :: Died: 1285

The Church found out about St. Thorfinn's life long after he had died. Fifty years later, his tomb was opened by accident during some construction work to renovate the church. Everyone was surprised by the strong, pleasant smell that came out of his coffin.

The abbot started making enquiries about Thorfinn. He found one elderly monk, Walter de Muda, who knew Thorfinn. In fact, Father Walter had been so impressed with Thorfinn's gentle goodness, patience, generosity and firmness against the evil and ungodly, that he had written a poem about him.

Walter had placed the poem with Thorfinn in the tomb. The monks went to look for the poem and found the parchment just as new and fresh as the day it had been put there.

The monks felt this was a sign that God wanted Thorfinn to be remembered and honored. People started praying to him and miracles began to happen around his tomb. Father Walter was asked to write whatever he could remember about Thorfinn.

Thorfinn had come from Norway and was a Cistercian monk at the abbey of Tautra. Later he had probably served at the cathedral as a priest. It seems that Thorfinn had signed an important document while at the cathedral.

He had been a witness to the Agreement of Tonsberg in 1277. This agreement between King Magnus VI and the archbishop set the Church free from state control. But a few years later, King Eric rejected the agreement and turned against the archbishop and those who had supported him.

The archbishop was sent away and so was Thorfinn, who was now bishop of Hamar, Norway. Thorfinn started a hard journey to Flanders. He was even shipwrecked on the trip. Finally, he arrived and went to live at the abbey of TerDoest in Flanders, Belgium.

He made a pilgrimage to Rome, but he returned to the abbey very ill. Before he died on January 8, 1285, Thorfinn divided the few possessions he had among his family members and some charitable groups.

Then in a monastery in Belgium. Reports of St. Thorfinn's holiness and the miracles at his tomb soon spread devotion to him among the Cistercians and Catholics in Hamar, Norway. Today Norwegians still honor St. Thorfinn and celebrate his feast day.

Reflection: Some people live famous and well-known lives; others slip in and out of our lives without much notice. Take the time today to notice someone who usually doesn't attract much attention.


34 posted on 01/08/2012 8:29:24 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
Matthew
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 2
1 WHEN Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. Cum ergo natus esset Jesus in Bethlehem Juda in diebus Herodis regis, ecce magi ab oriente venerunt Jerosolymam, του δε ιησου γεννηθεντος εν βηθλεεμ της ιουδαιας εν ημεραις ηρωδου του βασιλεως ιδου μαγοι απο ανατολων παρεγενοντο εις ιεροσολυμα
2 Saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him. dicentes : Ubi est qui natus est rex Judæorum ? vidimus enim stellam ejus in oriente, et venimus adorare eum. λεγοντες που εστιν ο τεχθεις βασιλευς των ιουδαιων ειδομεν γαρ αυτου τον αστερα εν τη ανατολη και ηλθομεν προσκυνησαι αυτω
3 And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Audiens autem Herodes rex, turbatus est, et omnis Jerosolyma cum illo. ακουσας δε ηρωδης ο βασιλευς εταραχθη και πασα ιεροσολυμα μετ αυτου
4 And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. Et congregans omnes principes sacerdotum, et scribas populi, sciscitabatur ab eis ubi Christus nasceretur. και συναγαγων παντας τους αρχιερεις και γραμματεις του λαου επυνθανετο παρ αυτων που ο χριστος γενναται
5 But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet: At illi dixerunt : In Bethlehem Judæ : sic enim scriptum est per prophetam : οι δε ειπον αυτω εν βηθλεεμ της ιουδαιας ουτως γαρ γεγραπται δια του προφητου
6 And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel. Et tu Bethlehem terra Juda, nequaquam minima es in principibus Juda : ex te enim exiet dux, qui regat populum meum Israël. και συ βηθλεεμ γη ιουδα ουδαμως ελαχιστη ει εν τοις ηγεμοσιν ιουδα εκ σου γαρ εξελευσεται ηγουμενος οστις ποιμανει τον λαον μου τον ισραηλ
7 Then Herod, privately calling the wise men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; Tunc Herodes clam vocatis magis diligenter didicit ab eis tempus stellæ, quæ apparuit eis : τοτε ηρωδης λαθρα καλεσας τους μαγους ηκριβωσεν παρ αυτων τον χρονον του φαινομενου αστερος
8 And sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come to adore him. et mittens illos in Bethlehem, dixit : Ite, et interrogate diligenter de puero : et cum inveneritis, renuntiate mihi, ut et ego veniens adorem eum. και πεμψας αυτους εις βηθλεεμ ειπεν πορευθεντες ακριβως εξετασατε περι του παιδιου επαν δε ευρητε απαγγειλατε μοι οπως καγω ελθων προσκυνησω αυτω
9 Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. Qui cum audissent regem, abierunt, et ecce stella, quam viderant in oriente, antecedebat eos, usque dum veniens staret supra, ubi erat puer. οι δε ακουσαντες του βασιλεως επορευθησαν και ιδου ο αστηρ ον ειδον εν τη ανατολη προηγεν αυτους εως ελθων εστη επανω ου ην το παιδιον
10 And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. Videntes autem stellam gavisi sunt gaudio magno valde. ιδοντες δε τον αστερα εχαρησαν χαραν μεγαλην σφοδρα
11 And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Et intrantes domum, invenerunt puerum cum Maria matre ejus, et procidentes adoraverunt eum : et apertis thesauris suis obtulerunt ei munera, aurum, thus, et myrrham. και ελθοντες εις την οικιαν ειδον το παιδιον μετα μαριας της μητρος αυτου και πεσοντες προσεκυνησαν αυτω και ανοιξαντες τους θησαυρους αυτων προσηνεγκαν αυτω δωρα χρυσον και λιβανον και σμυρναν
12 And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country. Et responso accepto in somnis ne redirent ad Herodem, per aliam viam reversi sunt in regionem suam. και χρηματισθεντες κατ οναρ μη ανακαμψαι προς ηρωδην δι αλλης οδου ανεχωρησαν εις την χωραν αυτων

35 posted on 01/08/2012 10:14:28 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex
1. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2. Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship Him.

AUG. After the miraculous Virgin-birth, a God-man having by Divine power proceeded from a virgin womb; in the obscure shelter of such a cradle, a narrow stall, wherein lay infinite Majesty in a body more narrow, a God was suckled and suffered the wrapping of vile rags - amidst all this, on a sudden a new star shone in the sky upon the earth, and driving away the darkness of the world, changed night into day; that the day-star should not be hidden by the night. Hence it is the Evangelist says, Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

REMIG. In the beginning of this passage of the Gospel he puts three several things: the person, When Jesus was born, the place, in Bethlehem of Judea, and the time, in the days of Herod the king. These three circumstances verify his words.

JEROME. We think the Evangelist first wrote, as we read in the Hebrew, 'Judah,' not 'Judea.' For in what other country is there a Bethlehem, that this needs to be distinguished as in 'Judea'? But 'Judah' is written, because there is another Bethlehem in Galilee.

GLOSS. There are two Bethlehems: one in the tribe of Zabulon, the other in the tribe of Judah, which was before called Ephrata.

AUG. Concerning the place, Bethlehem, Matthew and Luke agree; but the cause and manner of their being there Luke relates, Matthew omits. Luke again omits the account of the Magi, which Matthew gives.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Let us see to what serves this designation of time, In the days of Herod the king. It shows the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy, wherein he spoke that Christ should be born after seventy weeks of years. For from the time of the prophecy to the reign of Herod, the years of seventy weeks were accomplished. Or again, as long as Judea was ruled by Jewish princes, though sinners, so long prophets were sent for its amendment; but now, whereas God's law was held under the power of an unrighteous king, and the righteousness of God enslaved by the Roman rule, Christ is born; the more desperate sickness required the better physician.

RABANUS.Otherwise, he mentions the foreign king to show the fulfillment of the prophecy. The Scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come (Gen 49:10).

AMBROSE; It is said, that some Idumean robbers coming to Ascalon, brought with them among other prisoners Antipater. He was instructed in the law and customs of the Jews, and acquired the friendship of Hyrcanus, king of Judea, who sent him as his deputy to Pompey. He succeeded so well in the object of his mission, that he laid claim to a share of the throne. He was put to death, but his son Herod was under Antony appointed king of Judea, by a decree of the Senate; so it is clear that Herod sought the throne of Judea without any connection or claim of birth.

CHRYS.Herod the king, mentioning his dignity, because there was another Herod who put John to death.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. When He was born . . . behold wise men, that is, immediately on His birth, showing that a great God existed in a little one of man.

RABANUS. The Magi are men who inquire into the nature of things philosophically, but common speech uses Magi for wizards. In their own country, however, they are held in other repute, being the philosophers of the Chaldaeans, in whose lore kings and princes of that nation are taught, and by which themselves knew the birth of the Lord.

AUG. What were these Magi but the first fruits of the Gentiles? Israelitish shepherds, gentile Magians, one from afar, the other from near, hastened to the one Corner-stone.

ID. Jesus then was manifested neither to the learned nor the righteous; for ignorance belonged to the shepherds, impiety to the idolatrous Magi. Yet does that Corner-stone attract them both to Itself, seeing He came to chose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, and not to call the righteous, but sinners; that nothing great should exalt himself, none weak should despair.

GLOSS. These Magi were kings, and though their gifts were three, it is not to be thence inferred that themselves were only three in number, but in them was prefigured the coming to the faith of the nations sprung from the three sons of Noah. Or, the princes were only three, but each brought a large company with him. They came not after a year's end, for he would then have been found in Egypt, not in the manger, but on the thirteenth day. To show whence they came it is said, from the East.

REMIG. It should be known that opinions vary respecting the Magi. Some say they were Chaldaeans, who are known to have worshipped a star as God; thus their fictitious Deity showed them the way to the true God. Others think that they were Persians; others again, that they came from the utmost ends of the earth. Another and more probable opinion is that they were descendants of Balaam, who having his prophecy, There shall rise a Star out of Jacob (Numb 24:17), as soon as they saw the star, would know that a King was born.

JEROME. They knew that such a star would rise by the prophecy of Balaam, whose successors they were. But whether they were Chaldaeans, or Persians, or came from the utmost ends of the earth, how in so short a space of time could they arrive at Jerusalem?

REMIG. Some used to answer, 'No marvel if that boy who was then born could draw them so speedily, though it were from the ends of the earth.'

GLOSS. Or, they had dromedaries and Arabian horses, whose great swiftness brought them to Bethlehem in thirteen days.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Or, they had set out two years before the Savior's birth, and though they traveled all that time, neither meat nor drink failed in their scrips.

REMIG. Or, if they were the descendants of Balaam, their kings are not far distant from the land of promise and might easily come to Jerusalem in that so short time. But why does he write from the East? Because surely they came from a country eastward of Judaea. But there is also great beauty in this, They came out of the East, seeing all who come to the Lord, come from Him and through Him; as it is said in Zechariah, Behold the Man whose name is the East (Zech 6:12).

PSEUDO-CHRYS.Or, whence the day springs, thence came the first-fruits of the faith; for faith is the light of the soul. Therefore they came from the East, but to Jerusalem.

REMIG. Yet was not the Lord born there; thus they knew the time but not the place of His birth. Jerusalem being the royal city, they believed that such a child could not be born in any other. Or it was to fulfill that Scripture, The Law shall go out of Sion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Is 2:3). And there Christ was first preached. Or it was to condemn the backwardness of the Jews.

PSEUDO-AUG. Many kings of Judea had been born and died before, yet had Magi ever sought out any of them for adoration? No, for they had not been taught that any of these spoke from heaven. To no ordinary King of Judea had these men, aliens from the hand of Judea, ever thought such honor due. But they had been taught that this Child was one, in worshipping whom they would certainly secure that salvation which is of God. Neither His age was such as attracts men's flattery; His limbs not robed in purple, His brow not crowned with a diamond, no pompous train, no awful army, no glorious fame of battles, attracted these men to Him from the remotest countries, with such earnestness of supplication. There lay in a manger a Boy, newly born, of infant size, of pitiable poverty. But in that small Infant lay hid something great, which these men, the first-fruits of the Gentiles, had learned not of earth but of heaven; as it follows, We have seen His star in the east. They announce the vision and ask, they believe and inquire, as signifying those who walk by faith and desire sight.

GREG. It should be known that the Priscillianists, heretics who believe every man to be born under the aspect of some planet, cite this text in support of their error; the new star which appeared at the Lord's birth they consider to have been his fate.

AUG. And , according, to Faustus this introduction of the account of the star would lead us rather to call this part of the history, 'The Nativity,' than 'The Gospel.'

GREG; But far be it from the hearts of the faithful to call anything 'fate.'

AUG. For by the word 'fate,' in common acceptation, is meant the disposition of the stars at the moment of a person's birth or conception, to which some assign a power independent of the will of God. These must be kept at a distance from the ears of all who desire to be worshippers of Gods of any sort. But others think the stars have this virtue committed to them by the great God; wherein they greatly wrong the skies, in that they impute to their host the decreeing of crimes such as should any earthly people decree, their city should in the judgment of mankind deserve to be utterly destroyed.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. If then any should become an adulterer or homicide through means of the planets, how great is the evil and wickedness of those stars, or rather of Him who made them? For as God knows things to come, and what evils are to spring from those stars, if He would not hinder it, He is not good; if He would but could not, He is weak. Again, if it be of the star that we are either good or bad, we have neither merit nor demerit, as being involuntary agents; and why should I be punished for sin which I have done not willfully, but by necessity? The very commands of God against sin, and exhortations to righteousness, overthrow such folly. For where a man has not power to do, or where he has not power to forbear, who would command him either to do or to forbear?

GREG NYSS. How vain moreover is prayer for those who live by fate; Divine Providence is banished from the world together with piety, and man is made the mere instrument of the sidereal motions. For these they say move to action, not only the bodily members, but the thoughts of the mind. In a word, they who teach this take away all that is in us and the very nature of a contingency; which is nothing less than to overturn all things. For where will there be free will? but that which is in us must be free.

AUG. It cannot be said to be utterly absurd to suppose that sidereal afflatus should influence the state of the body, when we see that it is by the approach and departure of the sun that the seasons of the year are varied, and that many things, as shells and the wonderful tides of the Ocean, increase or decrease as the moon waxes or wanes. But not so, to say that the dispositions of the mind are subject to sidereal impulse. Do they say that the stars rather foreshow than effect these results? how then do they explain that in life of twins, in their actions, their successes, professions, honors, and all other circumstances of life, there will often be so great diversity, that men of different countries are often more alike in their lives than twins, between whose birth there was only a moment's, and between whose conception in the womb there was not a moment's, interval. And the small interval between their births is not enough to account for the great difference between their fates. Some give the name of fate not only to the constitution of the stars, but to all series of causes, at the same time subjecting all to the will and power of God. This sort of subjection of human affairs and fate is a confusion of language which should be corrected, for fate is strictly the constitution of the stars. The will of God we de not call 'fate,' unless indeed we will derive the word from 'speaking,' as in the Psalms: God has spoken once, twice have I heard the same (Ps 62:11). There is then no need of much contention about what is merely a verbal controversy.

AUG. But if we will not subject the nativity of any man to the influence of the stars, in order that we may vindicate the freedom of the will from any chain of necessity; how much less must we suppose sidereal influences to have ruled at His temporal birth, who is eternal Creator and Lord of the universe? The star which the Magi saw, at Christ's birth according to the flesh, did not rule His fate, but ministered as a testimony to Him. Further, this was not of the number of those stars, which from the beginning of time creation observe their paths of motion according to the law of their Maker; but a star that first appeared at the birth, ministering to the Magi who sought Christ, by going before them till it brought them to the place where the infant God the Word was. According to some astrologers such is the connection of human fate with the stars, that on the birth of some men stars have been known to leave their courses and go directly to the newborn. The fortune indeed of him that is born they suppose to be bound up with the course of the stars, not that the course of the stars is changed after the day of any man's birth. If then this star were of the number of those that fulfill their courses in the heavens, how could it determine what Christ should do, when it was commanded at His birth only to leave its own course? If, as is more probable, it was first created at His birth, Christ was not therefore born because it arose, but the reverse; so that if we must have fate connected with the stars, this star did not rule Christ's fate, but Christ the stars.

CHRYS. The object of astrology is not to learn from the stars the fact of one's birth, but from the hour of their nativity to forecast the fate of those that are born. But these men knew not the time of the Nativity to have forecast the future from it, but the converse.

GLOSS. 'His star,' i.e. the star He created for a witness of Himself.

GLOSS. To the Shepherds, Angels, and the Magians, a star points out Christ; to both speaks the tongue of Heaven, since the tongue of the Prophets was mute. The Angels dwell in the heavens, the stars adorn it, to both, therefore, the heavens declare the glory of God.

GREG.To the Jews who used their reason, a rational creature, i.e. an Angel, ought to preach. But the Gentiles who knew not to use their reason are brought to the knowledge of the Lord, not by words, but by signs; to the one prophecy, as to the faithful; to the other signs, as to the unbelievers. One and the same Christ is preached, when of perfect age, by Apostles; when an infant, and not yet able to speak, is announced by a star to the Gentiles; for so the order of reason required; speaking preachers proclaimed a speaking Lord, mute signs proclaimed a mute infant.

LEO; Christ Himself, the expectation of the nations, that innumerable posterity once promised to the most blessed patriarch Abraham, but to be born not after the flesh, but by the Spirit; therefore likened to the stars for multitude, that from the father of all nations, not an earthly but an heavenly progeny might be looked for. Thus the heirs of that promised posterity, marked out in the stars, are roused to the faith by the rise of a new star, and where the heavens had been at first called in to witness, the aid of Heaven is continued

CHRYSOST. This was manifestly not one of the common stars of Heaven. First, because none of the stars moves in this way, from east to south, and such is the situation of Palestine with respect to Persia. Secondly, from the time of its appearance, not in the night only, but during the day. Thirdly, from its being visible and then again invisible; when they entered Jerusalem it hid itself and then appeared again when they left Herod. Further, it had no stated motion, but when the Magi were to go on, it went before them; when to stop, it stopped like the pillar of cloud in the desert. Fourthly, it signified the Virgin's delivery, not by being fixed aloft, but by descending to earth, showing herein like an invisible virtue formed into the visible appearance of a star.

REMIG. Some affirm this star to have been the Holy Spirit: He who descended on the baptized Lord as a dove, appearing to the Magi as a star. Others say it was an Angel - the same who appeared to the shepherds.

GLOSS. In the east. It seems doubtful whether this refers to the place of the star, or of those that saw it; it might have risen in the east, and gone before them to Jerusalem.

AUG. Will you ask, from whom had they learned that such an appearance as a star was to signify the birth of Christ? I answer from Angels, by the warning of some revelation. Do you ask, was it from good or ill Angels? Truly even wicked spirits, namely the demons, confessed Christ to be the Son of God. But why should they not have heard it from good Angels, since in this their adoration of Christ their salvation was sought, not their wickedness condemned? The Angels might say to them, 'The Star which you have seen is the Christ. Go worship Him, where He is now born, and see how great is He that is born.'

LEO; Besides that star thus seen with the bodily eye, a yet brighter ray of truth pierced their hearts; they were enlightened by the illumination of the true faith.

PSEUDO-AUG. They might think that a king of Judea was born, since the birth of temporal princes is sometimes attended by a star. These Chaldean Magi inspected the stars, not with malevolence, but with the true desire of knowledge; following, it may be supposed, the tradition from Balaam; so that when they saw this new and singular star, they understood it to be that of which Balaam had prophesied, as marking the birth of a King of Judea.

LEO.What they knew and believed might have been sufficient for themselves, that they needed not to seek to see with the bodily eye, what they saw so clearly with the spiritual. But their earnestness and perseverance to see the Babe was for our profit. It profited us that Thomas, after the Lord's resurrection, touched and felt the marks of His wounds, and so for our profit the Magians' eyes looked on the Lord in His cradle.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Were they then ignorant that Herod reigned in Jerusalem? Or that it is a capital treason to proclaim another King while one yet lives? But while they thought on the King to come, they feared not the king that was; while as yet they had not seen Christ, they were ready to die for Him. O blessed Magi! who before the face of a most cruel king, and before having beheld Christ, were made His confessors.

3. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4. And when he had gathered all the Chief Priests and Scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5. And they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet,
6. And you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the princes of Judah; for out of you shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

AUG. As the Magi seek a Redeemer, so Herod fears a successor.

GLOSS. The King, he is called, though in comparison with him whom they are seeking he is an alien and a foreigner.

PSEUDO-CHYRS. Herod was troubled when he heard that a King was born of Jewish lineage, lest, himself being an Idumean, the kingdom should return again to native princes, and himself be expelled, and his Seed after him. Great station is ever obnoxious to great fears; as the boughs of trees planted in high ground move when never so little wind blows, so high men are troubled with little rumors; while the lowly, like trees in the valley remain at peace.

AUG. If His birth as an infant makes proud kings tremble, what will His tribunal as a Judge do? Let princes fear Him sitting at the right hand of His Father, whom this impious king feared while He hanged yet on His mother's breast.

LEO. you art troubled, Herod, without cause. Your nature cannot contain Christ, nor is the Lord of the world content with the narrow bounds of your dominion. He, whom you would not should reign in Judea, reigns everywhere.

GLOSS. Perhaps He was troubled not on His own account, but for fear of the displeasure of the Romans. They would not allow the title of King or of God to any without their permission.

GREG. At the birth of a king of Heaven, a king of earth is troubled; surely, earthly greatness is confounded, when heavenly greatness shows itself.

LEO. Herod represents the Devil, who as He then instigated him, so now he unweariedly imitates him. For he is grieved by the calling of the Gentiles, and by the daily ruin of his power.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Both have their own causes of jealousy, both fear a successor in their kingdom; Herod an earthly successor, the Devil a spiritual. Even Jerusalem is troubled, which should have rejoiced at that news, when a Jewish King was said to be risen up. But they were troubled, for the wicked cannot rejoice at the coming of the good. Or perhaps it was in fear that Herod should wreak his wrath against a Jewish King on his race.

GLOSS. Jerusalem was troubled with him, as willing to favor him whom it feared; the vulgar always pay undue honor to one who tyrannizes over it. Observe the diligence of his inquiry. If he Should find him, he would do to him as he showed afterwards his disposition; if he should not, he would at least be excused to the Romans.

REMIG. They are called Scribes, not from the employment of writing, but from the interpretation of the Scriptures, for they were doctors of the law. Observe, he does not inquire where Christ is born, but where He should be born; the subtle purpose of this was to see if they would show pleasure at the birth of their King. He calls Him Christ, because he knows that the King of the Jews was anointed.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Why does Herod make this inquiry, seeing he believed not the Scriptures? Or if he did believe, how could he hope to be able to kill Him whom the Scriptures declared should be King? The Devil instigated him, who believed that Scripture lies not; such is the faith of devils, who are not permitted to have perfect belief; even of that which they do believe. That they do believe, it is the force of truth constrains them; that they do not believe, it is that they are blinded by the enemy. If they had perfect faith, they would live as about to depart from this world soon, not as to possess it forever.

LEO; The Magi, judging as men, sought in the royal city for Him, whom they had been told was born a King. But He who took the form of a servant, and came not to judge but to be judged, chose Bethlehem for His birth, Jerusalem for His death.

THEODOTUS; Had He chosen the mighty city of Rome, it might have been thought that this change of the world had been wrought by the might of her citizens; had He been the son of the emperor, his power might have aided Him. But what was His choice? All that was mean, all that was in low esteem, that in this transformation of the world, divinity might at once be recognized. Therefore He chose a poor woman for His mother, a poor country for His native country; He has no money, and this stable is His cradle.

GREG; Rightly is He born in Bethlehem, which signifies the house of bread, who said, I am the living bread, who came down from heaven.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. When they should have kept secret the mystery of the King appointed of God, especially before a foreign king, straightway they became not preachers of the word of God, but revealers of His mystery. And they not only display the mystery, but cite the passage the prophet, viz. Micah.

GLOSS. He quotes this prophecy as they quote who give the sense and not the words.

JEROME; the Jews are here blamed for ignorance; for whereas the prophecy says, you Bethlehem Ephrata; they said, 'Bethlehem in the land of Judah.'

PSEUDO-CHRYS.By cutting short the prophecy, they became the cause of the murder of the Innocents. For the prophecy proceeds, From you shall go forth a King who shall feed My people Israel, and His day shall be from everlasting. Had they cited the whole prophecy, Herod would not have raged so madly, considering that it could not be an earthly King whose days were spoken of as from everlasting.

JEROME; The following is the sense of the prophecy. You, Bethlehem, of the land of Judah, or Ephrata, (which is added to distinguish it from another Bethlehem in Galilee,) though you are a small village among the thousand cities of Judah, yet out of you shall be born Christ, who shall be the Ruler of Israel, who according to the flesh is of the seed of David, but was born of Me before the worlds; and therefore it is written, His goings forth are of old. In the beginning was the Word.

GLOSS. This latter half of the prophecy the Jews dropped; and other parts they altered, either through ignorance (as was said above) or for perspicuity, that Herod who was a foreigner might better understand the prophecy; thus for Ephrata, they said, land of Judah; and for little among the thousands of Judah, which expresses its smallness contrasted with the multitude of the people, they said, not the least among the princes, willing to show the high dignity that would come from the birth of the Prince. As if they had said, you art great among cities from which princes have come.

REMIG. Or the sense is, though little among cities that have dominion, yet are you not the least, for out of you shall come the Ruler, who shall rule My people Israel; this Ruler is Christ, who rules and guides His faithful people.

CHRYS.Observe the exactness of the prophecy; it is not He shall be in Bethlehem, but shall come out of Bethlehem - showing that He should be only born there. What reason is there for applying this to Zorobabel, as some do? For his goings forth were not from everlasting, nor did he go forth from Bethlehem, but was born in Babylonia. The expression, are not the least, is a further proof, for none but Christ could make the town where He was born illustrious. And after that birth, there came men from the utmost ends of the earth to see the stable and manger. He calls Him not 'the Son of God,' but the Ruler who shall govern My people Israel; for thus He ought to condescend at the first, that they should not be scandalized, but should preach such things as more pertained to salvation, that they might be gained. Who shall rule My people Israel, is said mystically, for those of the Jews who believed; for if Christ ruled not all the Jews, theirs is the blame. Meanwhile he is silent respecting the Gentles, that the Jews might not be scandalized. Mark this wonderful ordinance: Jews and Magi mutually instruct each other; the Jews learn of the Magi that a star had proclaimed Christ in the east, the Magi from the Jews that the Prophets had spoken of Him of old. Thus confirmed by a twofold testimony, they would look with more ardent faith for One whom the brightness of the star and the voice of the Prophets equally proclaimed.

AUG. The star that guided the Magi to the spot where was the Infant God with His Virgin Mother, might have conducted them straight to the town; but it vanished, and showed not itself again to them till the Jews themselves had told them the place where Christ should be born: Bethlehem of Judea. Like in this to those who built the ark for Noah, providing others with a refuge, themselves perished in the flood; or like to the stones by the road that show the miles, but themselves are not able to move. The inquirers heard and departed; the teachers spoke and remained still. Even now the Jews show us something similar; for some Pagans, when clear passages of Scripture are shown them, which prophesy of Christ, suspecting them to be forged by the Christians, have recourse to Jewish copies. Thus they leave the Jews to read unprofitably, and go out themselves to believe faithfully.

7. Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young Child; and when you have found Him bring me word again, that I may come and worship Him also.
9a. When they had heard the king, they departed.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. As soon as Herod had heard the answer, though doubly authenticated both by the authority of the Priests, and the passage from the Prophets, he yet turned not to worship the King that was to be born, but sought how he might put Him to death by subtlety. He saw that the Magi were neither to be won by flattery, nor awed by threats, nor bribed by gifts, to consent to this murder; he sought therefore to deceive them; he privately called the wise men, that the Jews, whom he suspected, might not know of it. For he thought they would incline the rather to a King of their own nation.

REMIG. Diligently inquired; craftily, for he feared they would not return to him, and then he should know how he should do to put the young Child to death.

PSEUDO-AUG. The star had been seen, and with great wonder, nearly two years before. We are to understand that it was signified to them whose the star was, which was visible all that time till He, whom it signified, was born. Then as soon as Christ was made known to them they set out, and came and worshipped Him in thirteen days from the east.

CHRYSOST.Or, the star appeared to them long time before, because the journey would take up some time, and they were to stand before Him immediately on His birth, that seeing Him in swaddling clothes, he might seem the more wonderful.

GLOSS. According to others, the star was first seen on the day of the nativity, and having accomplished its end, ceased to be. Thus Fulgentius says, "The Boy at His birth created a new star." Though they now knew both time and place, he still would not have them ignorant of the person of the Child, Go, he says, and inquire diligently of the young Child; a commission they would have executed even if he had not commanded it.

CHRYS. Concerning the young Child, he says, not 'of the King'; he envies Him the regal title.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.To induce them to do this, he put on the color of devotion, beneath which he whetted the sword, hiding the malice of his heart under color of humility. Such is the manner of the malicious, when they would hurt anyone in secret, they feign meekness and affection.

GREG. He feigns a wish of worshipping Him only that he may discover Him and put Him to death.

REMIG. The Magi obeyed the King so far as to seek the Lord, but not to return to Herod. Like in this to good hearers; the good they hear from wicked preachers, that they do; but do not imitate their evil lives.

9b. And, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.This passage shows, that when the star had brought the Magi nearly to Jerusalem, it was hidden from them, and so they were compelled to ask in Jerusalem, where Christ should be born? and thus to manifest Him to them; on two accounts: first, to put to confusion the Jews, inasmuch as the Gentiles instructed only by sight of a star sought Christ through strange lands, while the Jews who had read the Prophets from their youth did not receive Him, though born in their country. Secondly, that the Priests, when asked where Christ should be born, might answer to their now condemnation, and while they instructed Herod, they were themselves ignorant of Him. The star went before them, to show them the greatness of the King.

AUG. To perform its due service to the Lord, it advanced slowly, leading them to the spot. It was ministering to Him, and not ruling His fate; its light showed the suppliants and filled the inn, shed over the walls and roof that covered the birth; and thus it disappeared.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.What wonder that a divine star should minister to the Sun of righteousness about to rise. It stood over the Child's head, as it were saying, 'This is He,' proving by its place what it had no voice to utter.

GLOSS. It is evident that the star must have been in the air, and close above the house where the Child was, else it would not have pointed out the exact house.

AMBROSE; The star is the way, and the way is Christ; and according to the mystery of the incarnation, Christ is a star. He is a blazing and a morning-star. Thus where Herod is, the star is not seen; where Christ is, there it is again seen, and points out the way.

REMIG. Or, the star figures the grace of God, and Herod the Devil. He, who by sin puts himself in the Devil's power, loses that grace; but if he return by repentance, he soon finds that grace again which leaves him not till it have brought him to the young Child's house, i. e the Church.

GLOSS.Or, the star is the illumination of faith, which leads him to the nearest aid; while they turn aside to the Jews, the Magi lose it; so those who seek counsel of the bad, lose the true light.

10. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented to Him gifts: gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

GLOSS. This service of the star is followed by the rejoicing of the Magi.

REMIG. And it was not enough to say, They rejoiced, but they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. They rejoiced, because their hopes were not falsified but confirmed, and because the toil of so great travel had not been undertaken in vain.

GLOSS.He rejoices indeed who rejoices on God's account, who is the true joy. With great joy, he says, for they had great cause.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. By the mystery of this star they understood that the dignity of the King then born exceeded the measure of all worldly kings.

REMIG. He adds greatly, showing that men rejoice more over what they have lost than over what they possess.

LEO. Though in stature a babe, needing the aid of others, unable to speak, and different in nothing from other infants, yet such faithful witnesses, showing the unseen Divine Majesty which was in Him, ought to have proved most certainly that that was the Eternal Essence of the Son of God that had taken upon Him the true human nature.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Mary His mother, not crowned with a diadem or laying on a golden couch, but with barely one garment, not for ornament but for covering, and that such as the wife of a carpenter when abroad might have. Had they therefore come to seek an earthly king, they would have been more confounded than rejoiced, deeming their pains thrown away. But now they looked for a heavenly King, so that though they saw nothing of regal state, that star's witness sufficed them, and their eyes rejoiced to behold a despised Boy, the Spirit showing Him to their hearts in all His wonderful power, they fell down and worshipped, seeing the man, they acknowledged the God.

RABANUS. Joseph was absent by Divine command, that no wrong suspicions might occur to the Gentiles.

GLOSS.In these offerings we observe their national customs: gold, frankincense, and various spices abounding among the Arabians; yet they intended thereby to signify something in mystery.

GREG. Gold, as to a King; frankincense, as sacrifice to God; myrrh, as embalming the body of the dead.

AUG. Gold, as paid to a mighty King; frankincense, as offered to God; myrrh, as to one who is to die for the sins of all.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. And though it were not then understood what these several gifts mystically signified, that is no difficulty; the same grace that instigated them to the deed, ordained the whole.

REMIG. And it is to be known that each did not offer a different gift, hut each one the three things, each one thus proclaiming the King, the God, and the man.

CHRYS. Let Marcion and Paul of Samosata then blush, who will not see what the Magi saw, those progenitors of the Church adoring God in the flesh. That He was truly in the flesh, the swaddling clothes and the stall prove; yet that they worshipped Him not as mere man, but as God, the gifts prove which it was becoming to offer to a God. Let the Jews also be ashamed, seeing the Magi coming before them, and themselves not even earnest to tread in their path.

GREG. Something further may yet be meant here. Wisdom is typified by gold; as Solomon said in the Proverbs, A treasure to be desired is in the mouth of the wise (Prov 21:20). By frankincense, which is burnt before God, the power of prayer is intended, as in the Psalms, Let my speech come before you as incense (Ps 141:2). In myrrh is figured mortification of the flesh. To a king at his birth we offer gold; if we shine in his sight with the light of wisdom, we offer frankincense; if we have power before God by the sweet savor of our prayers, we offer myrrh, when we mortify by abstinence the lusts of the flesh.

GLOSS.The three men who offer, signify the nations who come from the three quarters of the earth. They open their treasures, i.e. manifest the faith of their hearts by confession. Rightly in the house, teaching that we should not vain-gloriously display the treasure of a good conscience. They bring three gifts, i. e the faith in the Holy Trinity. Or opening the stores of Scripture, they offer its threefold sense: historical, moral, and allegorical; or Logic, Physic, and Ethics, making them all serve the faith.

12. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

AUG. The wicked Herod, now made cruel by fear, will needs do a deed of horror. But how could he ensnare him who had come to cut off all fraud? His fraud is escaped as it follows, And being warned.

JEROME; They had offered gifts to the Lord, and receive a warning corresponding to it. This warning (in the Greek 'having received a response') is given not by an Angel, but by the Lord Himself, to show the high privilege granted to the merit of Joseph.

GLOSS. This warning is given by the Lord Himself; it is none other that now teaches these Magi the way they should return, but He who said, I am the way (John 14). Not that the Infant actually speaks to them, that His divinity may not be revealed before the time, and His human nature may be thought real. But he says, having received an answer, for as Moses prayed silently, so they with pious spirit had asked what the Divine will bade. By another way, for they were not to be mixed up with the unbelieving Jews.

CHRYS.See the faith of the Magi; they were not offended, nor said within themselves, What need now of flight? or of secret return, if this Boy be really some great one? Such is true faith; it asks not the reason of any command, but obeys.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Had the Magi sought Christ as an earthly King, they would have remained with Him when they had found Him; but they only worship, and go their way. After their return, they continued in the worship of God more steadfastly than before, and taught many by their preaching. And when afterwards Thomas reached their country, they joined themselves to him, and were baptized, and did according to his preaching.

GREG. We may learn much from this return of the Magi another way. Our country is Paradise, to which, after we have come to the knowledge of Christ we are forbidden to return the way we came. We have left this country by pride, disobedience, following things of sight, tasting forbidden food; and we must return to it by repentance, obedience, by condemning things of sight, and overcoming carnal appetite.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. It was impossible that they, who left Herod to go to Christ, should return to Herod. They who have by sin left Christ and passed to the devil, often return to Christ; for the innocent, who knows not what is evil, is easily deceived, but having once tasted the evil he has taken up, and remembering the good he has left, he returns in penitence to God. He who has forsaken the devil and come to Christ, hardly returns to the devil; for rejoicing in the good he has found, and remembering the evil he has escaped, with difficulty returns to that evil.

Catena Aurea Matthew 2
36 posted on 01/08/2012 10:15:23 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: annalex


Adoration of the Magi

Fra Angelico

c. 1433
Tempera on panel, 39 x 56 cm
Museo di San Marco, Florence

37 posted on 01/08/2012 10:15:59 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Catholic
Almanac:
 
 
Sunday, January 8
Liturgical Color: White

Today the Church honors Bl. Peter Thomas, bishop. When talks with Orthodox Churches were initiated to try and mend the Great Schism, Peter was called on by the Pope to be his representative. Later he traveled to Cyprus where he died in 1366.

38 posted on 01/08/2012 3:04:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: All
On Christmas and Epiphany

39 posted on 01/08/2012 3:09:44 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: January 08, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: May the splendor of your majesty, O Lord, we pray, shed its light upon our hearts, that we may pass through the shadows of this world and reach the brightness of our eternal home. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Christmas: January 8th

  The Epiphany of the Lord Old Calendar: Feast of the Holy Family

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Epiphany. "The Lord and ruler is coming; kingship is his, and government and power." With these words the Church proclaims that today's feast brings to a perfect fulfillment all the purposes of Advent. Epiphany, therefore, marks the liturgical zenith of the Advent-Christmas season. — Pius Parsch

The Solemnity of the Epiphany is celebrated either on January 6 or, according to the decision of the episcopal conference, on the Sunday between January 2 and January 8. The young Messiah is revealed as the light of the nations. Yet, as the antiphon for the Magnificat at Second Vespers reminds us, three mysteries are encompassed in this solemnity: the adoration of the Christ Child by the Magi, the Baptism of Christ and the wedding feast at Cana. Extra candles and/or lamps may be placed around the sanctuary and in other parts of the church to honor Christ revealed as the Light of the Gentiles (Ceremonial of Bishops). It is customary to replace the images of the shepherds at the crib with the three Magi and their gifts. — Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, Msgr. Peter J. Elliott, Ignatius Press.

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of the Holy Family. Ordinarily the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is celebrated today but this year it is observed on January 2.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

The Fifteenth Day of Christmas

Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany

Many traditions and genuine manifestations of popular piety have been developed in relation to the Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany, which is of ancient origin and rich in spiritual content. Among such forms of popular piety, mention may be made of:

  • the solemn proclamation of Easter and the principal dominical feasts; its revival in many places would be opportune since it served to make the connection between the Epiphany and Easter, and orientate all feasts towards the greatest Christian solemnity;

  • the exchange of "Epiphany gifts", which derives from the gifts offered to Jesus by the three kings (cf. Mt 2,11) and more radically from the gift made to mankind by God in the birth of Emmanuel amongst us (cf. Is 7, 14; 9, 16; Mt 1, 23). It is important, however, to ensure that the exchange of gifts on the solemnity of the Epiphany retain a Christian character, indicating that its meaning is evangelical: hence the gifts offered should be a genuine expression of popular piety and free from extravagance, luxury, and waste, all of which are extraneous to the Christian origins of this practice;

  • the blessing of homes, on whose lintels are inscribed the Cross of salvation, together with the indication of the year and the initials of the three wise men (C+M+B), which can also be interpreted to mean Christus Mansionem Benedicat, written in blessed chalk; this custom, often accompanied by processions of children accompanied by their parents, expresses the blessing of Christ through the intercession of the three wise men and is an occasion for gathering offerings for charitable and missionary purposes;

  • initiatives in solidarity with those who come from afar; whether Christian or not, popular piety has encouraged a sense of solidarity and openness;

  • assistance to the work of evangelization; the strong missionary character of the Epiphany has been well understood by popular piety and many initiatives in support of the missions flourish on 6 January, especially the "Missionary work of the Holy Child", promoted by the Apostolic See;

  • the assignation of Patrons; in many religious communities and confraternities, patron saints are assigned to the members for the coming year.

Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

Things to Do:


40 posted on 01/08/2012 4:16:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6

The Epiphany of the Lord

You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace. (Ephesians 3:2)

Have you ever been entrusted with an important message to deliver to someone? If so, you prob­ably worked hard to make sure it was delivered properly. That’s how Paul must have felt about the gos­pel he preached. It was a universal, revolutionary message: Salvation is available to Gentiles and Jews alike! No one is outside of God’s power to save, heal, and transform!

Two thousand years later, God is still looking for people willing to become stewards of his grace. He is calling you to proclaim the surpris­ing news of salvation.

Why talk about our call to evan­gelize on the Feast of the Epiphany? Because today we celebrate the way Jesus’ glory was revealed to the Magi. Today we celebrate the way the Magi saw something special in this boy from Nazareth—something special enough to make them want to offer him valuable gifts.

In a similar way, when we share with people the message of Jesus— the universal, revolutionary mes­sage of salvation—we are showing them something glorious. We are proclaiming the greatest, most awe-inspiring news in history: Heaven is open! Salvation has come!

This is a high calling indeed! Every time we share the message of God’s grace, we offer people a chance to have their own epiphany. We can go so far as to say that just by living out the gospel, our lives can become an epiphany—a glori­ous manifestation of the power of God to transform human hearts!

So as it turns out, St. Paul is not the only one privileged to be called a steward of God’s grace. That title belongs to each of us. So let’s treas­ure our role in God’s plan—and, above all else, let’s treasure the sal­vation that we have received!

“Lord, I am in awe of how vast your plan is! Thank you for sending Jesus to redeem all of us. Help me to become a shining example of your love and healing power today.”


Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,10-13; Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6; Matthew 2:1-12)

1. The first reading speaks of both darkness and light. In what ways do you see a battle waging in your heart and mind between the desires of the flesh (carnal desires) and the desires of the spirit (Godly desires)? What are some steps you can take to “win” this battle?

2. Jesus said that he is the light of the world. In what way is Jesus the light of your life? For example, do you speak with him daily in prayer? Is he the light that guides your daily decisions?

3. In the responsorial psalm, the psalmist asks for “justice” and “right judgment.” How important are these attributes to you in your family life and your business life? What steps can you take to allow them to have an even greater importance?

4. St. Paul tells us that “the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.” What does this mean to you? What are some of the promises that you are a coheir of and copartner in?

5. In the Gospel, we again see the humility of God - he chose insignificant Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus instead of Jerusalem the capital city and home of the great temple. How important is humility to you as a virtue? Would your relationships with others, or your dealing with your family, be described as humble? Why or why not?

6. Herod had told the Magi to “go and search diligently” for Christ. As we start the New Year, what steps can you take to seek the Lord more each day and allow him to occupy a greater part in your life?

7. In the meditation we hear these words: “Every time we share the message of God’s grace, we offer people a chance to have their own epiphany. We can go so far as to say that just by living out the gospel, our lives can become an epiphany—a glorious manifestation of the power of God to transform human hearts!” How would you describe any “epiphanies” in your life, when God touched you in a special way? Have you ever shared these epiphanies with other people? What was the result?

8. Take some time now to pray that in 2012 you would be faithful stewards of God’s grace, including sharing the good news of salvation with others. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


41 posted on 01/08/2012 4:53:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

THE MEN OF WISDOM

A reading from a biblical reflection of Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFMCap. 

The Epiphany of the Lord (Matthew 2:1-12) 

There are three groups of people in Matthew’s story: Herod and the political set inJerusalem; the scribes, priests and religious leaders; and the wise men whom came from the east.

This story of the magi shows the different responses of people to the news of the infant King. It was true what Simeon had said to Mary in the temple, that this Child was destined for the fall and rising of many inIsrael. He would be God’s light, in which people would be their own judges.

The first group were the political people in the capital. Herod was persuaded at the news ‘and so was the whole ofJerusalem.’ These are the power-people whose only religion is their own advancement. But the tyrant is always desperately insecure. Herod is threatened by a tiny infant. The tyrants of history from Pharaoh to Herod, from Cromwell to Hitler, from Stalin to Ceaucescu have thought nothing of huge massacres in the interest of their own survival.

Was Herod genuinely interested in paying homage to the infant King? No way. Herod was interested in only one god …… himself. He shows us how selfishness can take over our lives so that we become blind to the light of God that comes to us.

In the second group of people were the scribes and religious leaders of the Jews. They were consulted about these rumors. So they looked into their books and came up with the answer ‘Betlehem’.

But did they go there, did they take the road to Betlehem? Not they. They stayed inJerusalem, content with their books and debates. They represent those who have all the philosophies, all the theories, all the arguments for and against …… but they will never take single step of commitment. They live in the world of theory and never step out on the road of reality. History is repeated in that many who fall in this way still belong to the priestly circles and religious families. They bury their commitment in learned theses, abstract speculation and dry debate. But will they ever step out and share the light of God with a world which is drifting in darkness towards despair?

The wise men stepped out on the road and followed the star. We must note that a star is such a little light: it is a very distant light: and it is only in darkness that we can see it. For the wise men the star in itself was not important. What they sought was what it would lead them to. The star was a sign of the Beyond. It rested over a house. They went in and saw the Child and His mother Mary. Faith is a commitment to the distant, dimly perceived Beyond that has come into our midst in the Child at Betlehem.

The wise men brought gifts of gold for a King, frankincense for a Priest and myrrh for the embalming of One who would die for His people. The gifts we bring to God at Epiphany are symbolized by the gifts of the magi.

The gold we bring is our commitment to theKingdom ofGod established by Jesus on earth: this means a commitment to the Christian ideals for society …… justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The frankincense we bring is our recognition of Jesus Christ as the true Priest or authentic way to the Father. All our prayer is in His name. The Eucharist, as the prayers of Christian memory, is the pinnacle of our journey to God.

The myrrh we bring is our belief and trust in Jesus Christ who has conquered death. We now dare to hope even when all the omens are bad and everything else points to defeat. With these gifts of faith and trust, we fall on our knees and pay homage.

God is in our midst. Emmanuel.


42 posted on 01/08/2012 5:10:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
What Are You Seeking?
Pastor’s Column
Epiphany
January 8, 2012
 
It occurs to me that it is not just the wise men that are on a journey, a mission in search of a goal, a star they see in the east; no, we are all seeking something in life. There is an old expression that comes to mind: be careful what you wish for, because you may get it! Everyone on earth is actually a traveler and a seeker whether we realize it or not.   We are all journeying through time, from birth to eternity. Some are seeking meaning in life, happiness, security, companionship, success. Others seek sin, selfishness, and their own best interests at the expense of others. Some seek to give their lives to make others happy, whether it be family, co-workers or strangers. What are you seeking?
 
The gospel for the Epiphany (Matthew 2:1-12) is full of seekers! Let’s see who they are. The wise men are seeking the newborn king of the Jews. They want to do him homage and bring him gifts. Herod is also seeking something – to kill Jesus – because he does not understand that Jesus is not a threat to him.  Herod is in reality -- seeking himself.
 
As Our Lord once said, when we lose our lives for his sake we discover who we really are, but when we seek only ourselves we bring ourselves to ruin. While most of us are not seeking to kill anyone (although we may do so at times with our words), we are often quite selfish in our choices with God and others.
 
          The wise men are true pilgrims: they can teach us how to live a life pleasing to God!  When they find Jesus, what do they offer him? First, humilitythey prostrate themselves in front of a small child in Bethlehem! Next, they offer him something very precious: goldGold represents that which costs us something; theirs is no cheap or unthinking gift to Jesus. Then, they offer frankincense: we do this when we offer sincere prayers to God at Mass, in adoration, at home, and on the go. Finally, myrrhis offered:this is for Christ’s burial, and it represents the times we sacrificed ourselves for someone we love, or for a stranger in need, or for God. Be careful for what you seek, for you may get it in the end.
 
                                           Father Gary     

43 posted on 01/08/2012 5:47:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for January 8, 2012:

“It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized…” (Mk 1:9) How much do you know about your beloved’s early life (birth place, religious rituals, family traditions)? Even if it’s old news, reminisce or share the history with your kids.


44 posted on 01/08/2012 5:57:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

The Epiphany of The Lord

January 8, 2012

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6

Psalm: 72:1-2,7-8,10-13

Second Reading: Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6

Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:1-12

  • The word “Epiphany” means an appearance, especially of a king or other important person. The Feast of the Epiphany marks the appearance of the Messiah to the Gentiles (non-Jews) represented by the Magi. It is also celebrated as the 12th day of Christmas, marking the end of that liturgical season, and beginning of the liturgical season of Ordinary time.
  • The Magi, astrologers or sages from the east, come to Jerusalem seeking “the newborn king of the Jews” after seeing “his star at its rising” (verse 2).
  • Herod, the reigning king of Judea, was a paranoid and violent ruler who was known to put to death any and all threats to his throne (including several wives and children). He pretends to help the Magi as a means to destroy this new rival.
  • Despite Herod’s schemes, the Magi are able to find and worship the newborn King in safety, though Herod’s fury later will have tragic results (see Matthew 2:13-18).

 

QUESTIONS:

  • The 1st Reading from Isaiah contains a prophecy which is directed to the Jews returning from Exile, but it is not primarily about them. Who does it describe and what will be their experience? What will Israel’s response to this be? What should our response be to seeing people who were formerly “outsiders” entering the Church?
  • In the 2nd Reading, what is the “great mystery” of which St. Paul speaks of in verse 3? Why is this significant for the Church of his time? Of our time?
  • Why was it important for Jesus to be born in the city of David, Bethlehem, a name which means “house of bread” (verses 4-6; Micah 5:1-3; 2 Samuel 5:2)?
  • What do the star, the Magi, the gifts, the homage, the hostility and the prophecy teach about the significance of Jesus?
  • Since the Magi were pagan astrologers, why would they leave everything to follow that star? In your journey toward God, how are you like the Magi? Unlike them? Have you had to leave anything to follow Jesus?
  • Note the responses of the Magi upon finding Jesus. How are they similar to the response that Christians make to Jesus, including before the Blessed Sacrament?
  • What is the “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” in your life? How have you offered this to Jesus?
Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 528, 486, 724

 

Like the Magi, we have discovered a star—a light and guide in the sky of our soul. “We have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him.” We have had the same experience. We too noticed a new light shining in our soul and growing increasingly brighter. It was a desire to live a fully Christian life, a keenness to take God seriously.

St. Josemaria Escriva


45 posted on 01/08/2012 6:09:18 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: All
The Two Epiphanies

The Word for Epiphany: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/010812.cfm
"Rise up in splendor Jerusalem, your light has come!" (Is 60: 1)

I remember very well an experience I had as a young associate pastor around the Feast of the Epiphany.  I was preparing to celebrate Mass for our school children when suddenly three girls walked in dressed in royal garb.  I was a bit taken aback since I naively assumed that three of the older boys would portray the Magi.  So, I looked at the girls who were all smiles with a bit of 8th grade silliness and I asked them, "Are you the three Kings?"  With a straight face and a voice of conviction one girl said, "No Father. We're the three wise persons!" I just let it go.  It was more important that we celebrate this beautiful Feast than try and make a political statement. The Magi represent all of us for it is a feast filled with rich symbols. 
A new star in the heavens, a prophecy for Bethlehem, a mother and child, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, the voice of conviction from a strange Baptist in the wilderness of Judea, water which washes away sinfulness, an apparition of the Holy Spirit as a dove, a voice from the heavens, and Jesus the Lamb of God. All of them can be called “epiphanies.”
What or Who do they point to?  To one person and one only – Jesus of Nazareth, the fleshed Word of God who has inserted himself in human history and forever made his home among us.

This Sunday we close our Christmas season with the beloved Feast of the Magi – Epiphany.  As that Greek word implies a revelation of something new and a new understanding, all of the above – the star, the prophecy, a mother and child, and the three gifts given are all signs which point only one way – to Christ himself.  All of these uncover and convince the magi that this child was the fulfillment of their journey. Each one of them in their own way are little “epiphanies” that reveal Christ to the world.


Guido Reni: The Baptism of the Lord

The Word: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/010912.cfm

But our second epiphany happens thirty years later in the Baptism of the Lord, this year celebrated the day after Epiphany – on Monday, Jan 9.  As Jesus presented himself to John for baptism, John sees in him a further revelation, an epiphany of sorts, and knows that this man, nearly the same age as John, is the true Lamb of God; the one who will “baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
The image of a dove, a Divine voice heard from heaven confirm what John suspected.  Here Christ is once more revealed to the world, he is shown forth in a new epiphany, that he is truly the hope of all peoples.

As we close the Christmas mystery our liturgical year is designed to keep us looking forward – from the manger to the waters of the Jordan and beyond. Whether it was the magi or John the Baptist, both revelations or epiphanies brought them to know the Christ and to respond with enthusiasm to share what they saw and heard.  We know this as we read the Scriptures in which their experience becomes our call as well.

What are the signs today that point the way to Christ? We live in a very different world than ancient peoples.  Science and technology, history and the development of cultures over the last 2,000 years have dramatically changed the human experience and our own expectations about the meaning of life and how we live.

But, the community of the Church, the Body of Christ among us, remains the shining star that points the way to Christ and his good news of salvation for all. The Sacraments are the signs of Jesus’ ministry among us continuing what he began: healing, forgiveness, freedom from the slavery of sin, a moral framework that is based in absolute truths, a social order between humanity and the world around us that is based in the dignity of each human life, an inclusiveness of language and culture in liturgy and prayer, a unity of teaching that offers clear direction, and the lived experience of our faith in the security of a community of charity. 

We aren't perfect and even the magi left due to the danger of Herod’s threat.  Jesus’ baptism led him not to wealth and fame but out to the desert to wrestle with the power of evil and ultimately to the Cross.  The Church remains the Body of Christ, sometimes shining with virtue and other times wounded by sinfulness but it’s where we go to find life and respite in a world that can only offer temporary fulfillment.  Finding a balance between the sacred and the secular is the story of our lives.

The Church is greater than any one Pope or Bishop and stronger than any Priest. Yet around Peter do we gather with the Apostles and presbyters at the Eucharistic table to share in the life of our Savior.  Together as God’s people we can all unite as a shining star to continually point to where Christ can be found.  

Let’s be an epiphany to others.  A way to uncover and reveal by the example of our lives that this God/Man is indeed the hope of all ages and remains alive and present in our midst. 
It’s a tall order for any of us but we are not alone in that challenge.  The Holy Spirit remains in our midst and ultimately is the one who will bring about God’s intent.

O God, who on this day
revealed your Only Begotten Son to the nations
by the guidance of a star,
grant in your mercy
that we, who know you already by faith,
may be brought to behold the beauty of your sublime glory.  

(Collect for Epiphany)  
 
Fr. Tim

46 posted on 01/08/2012 6:23:32 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: All
Insight Scoop

Learning to Worship From the Magi

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Isa 60:1-6
Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6
• Mt 2:1-12

“Worship”, observed Fr. Gerald Vann, O.P., “is not a part of the Christian life: it is the Christian life.”

Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar, in a sermon given on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, wrote that God, in his epiphany, “has lost nothing of his incomprehensibility. Only now do we begin to suspect how far divine omnipotence reaches into reality. Thus there can be no more profound worship than Christian worship, which is authentic.”

Today’s solemnity is a celebration of the epiphaneia—the revelation and manifestation—of God in the form of a man, Jesus the Christ. Throughout the centuries, beginning in the East and the later in the West, this feast focused on three different but closely related events: the visitation of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, and the turning of water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana. Each reveals the radical, transforming truth of the Incarnation. And each, in turn, opens up further the mystery of God and calls man to worship and adore him. 

The mystery of the Incarnation and the call to worship are central in today’s Gospel, which recounts the well-known story of the magi from the east seeking “the newborn king of the Jews.” The magi are among the most mysterious figures in the Gospel; we don’t even know how many journeyed to find Jesus, although the total of three has become the popular number. In the ancient Near East a magus could have been one of several things: a magician, a Persian priest, or even a man practicing occultic arts. But these men were most likely Persian astrologers, with a reputation for being skilled at studying and interpreting the movements of the stars and planets.

St. Matthew’s Gospel often refers to Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled in and through the coming of Christ (Mt. 2:17, 23; 4:14; 13:14; 27:9). In writing of the magi, he pointed his readers to Isaiah 60, today’s reading from the Old Testament. There the prophet Isaiah wrote of a coming time when the glory of Jerusalem would fill and bless the entire word: “Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance.” The wealth of nations—including gifts of “gold and frankincense—would be brought by foreign kings, who would worship God in the holy city, “proclaiming the praises of the Lord.”

And today’s responsorial Psalm also emphasizes this theme of worship: “May the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute, the kings of Arabia and Seba offer gifts. May all kings bow before him, all nations serve him” (Ps. 72:10-11).

This highlights a truth often proclaimed by Jesus: that the Kingdom of God is offered to and will include peoples from all nations. And the magi represent the first of a vast number of Gentiles brought into the family of God through the Christ-child, who is the King of the Jews and the King of kings. Even in his quiet and hidden birth, Jesus began to draw all men to himself.

“In the magi,” the Catechism states, “representatives of the neighbouring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation” (par. 528). In the New Covenant the radiant glory of the Lord will shine upon all people, dispelling the darkness of sin and despair.

The actions and responses of the magi reveal how the divine light destroys the darkness and leads to worship of the true God. First, they saw the star and recognized that is was unique. Secondly, upon having this epiphany (itself a divine gift of grace), they traveled in order “to do him homage”. They had no fear of seeking the newborn king of the Jews because they were filled with joy and anticipation. Third, they into the presence of Jesus and “prostrated themselves and did him homage.” Having worshiped him, they offered gifts. We, too, are called to worship, for worship is the Christian life.

 [This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the January 2, 2011, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.]


47 posted on 01/08/2012 6:34:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: All
Vultus Christi

The Triumph of Grace

 on January 8, 2012 8:55 AM |
Dom%20Vital%20Lehodey.jpg

A few years ago, while in France I read a biography of Dom Vital Léhodey, entitled Frère Vital, ou le triomphe de la grâce, written by Father Michel Niassaut, a Trappist monk of the Abbey of Briquebec.

I decided to devote some time to translating part of the book for the readers of Vultus Christi. Here is Dom Léhodey's account of the Child Jesus in his life:

“I hasten to leave the account of my exterior life and come to the great devotion, I should say the grace of graces, which has been the charm and the fecundity of my existence. I attach great price to my priesthood, even more to my monastic vocation added to my priesthood. But for me, the grace par excellence was the entrance of my Beloved Little Jesus into my life. It has lasted for forty years; far from having lost its value with the passing of time, it is to me dearer and more precious than ever.

Up until the approach of my solemn profession, I had no special devotion to Our Lord the Child; I am astonished when I remember how many graces for me are attached to the feasts of Christmas. It was between a retreat that I made at Melleray in January 1895 and my solemn profession (7 July of the same year), that my adored Little Jesus made His entrance into my soul, very softly, without the noise of words, in attracting me by His love and His sweetness. Since then, His hold on me became ever greater; at the moment of my profession, it was already preponderant; very soon thereafter, the dear Little Jesus had taken all the place. Alas! I had great need of this in order to detach myself from all things; but I was far from having merited this inestimable favour.

San_Giuseppe.jpg

Personally, I have neither seen Him nor heard Him. Everything between us happens in the order of faith. From time to time, He makes me feel His presence and His action in more lively a way. The veil that hides Him becomes transparent. Certainly, it is not yet the clear vision, nor is it entirely the obscurity of pure faith. He doesn’t let Himself be seen; He lets me almost glimpse Him and it is so evident that He is there that I converse with my Most Holy Little Beloved as if I were seeing Him. But that is a rare exception; ordinarily He contents Himself with attracting the heart and by the heart, the mind and the will, but He hides Himself.

My life is occupied with offering Him multiple acts of love, of confidence, and of abandonment, of love especially, often touched with humility, profound adoration, and filial submission. The heart pours itself out in very simple acts, without looking for phrases nor feelings, saying the same things to Him over and over again, without growing weary. I think that He never wearies of hearing them, since He gives me the grace to continue. This exercise becomes a real work; it remains all the same a need of the heart. To sustain and stimulate my good will, I count my little acts on our rosary beads, so as not to fall below the measure that I fixed for myself and which is always increasing. At present, in order to fulfill it I have to begin straightaway at the earliest hour of the day and not lose a single of my free moments. I would not counsel this method to others if it does not suit them; for me it has been immensely helpful.

My Little Jesus draws me to Himself at about the age of five years, or at about the age three or four. In the beginning, there was a little bit of imagination and a fair amount of emotion. It has been a long time now that the emotional has disappeared almost entirely; very often, it is desert, bleak and arid. What holds me in this way is the Word of God become a child, out of love for His Father and for us; or else it is the Saviour and Physician of souls; it is the God of my heart, the Friend, the Spouse and above all the adorable Little Brother. But it is always the Holy Humanity united to the Word, and so my worship goes to the Word become a child. When He presents to my spirit His infinite grandeurs and my nothingness, His holiness, my faults and my miseries, I adore Him in making myself very small. If He allows me to glimpse the charms of His childhood, His heart so humble and so meek, His infinitely touching holy littleness, the astonishing simplicity of a little brother (and so He does ordinarily), it is the heart that responds to Him, saying to Him the same protestations of love endlessly again and again, and from time to time, making itself very little before Him who is so great. This has lasted lo all these forty years and I never weary of always repeating to Him the same things. Since then, I have never aspired after another way; my Beloved Little Jesus is enough for me. And why would I have sought anything else, since, “all good things came to me along with Him” (Wis 7:11). I should never how to retell Him my gratitude enough.

And, first of all, He taught me better to know Him, and by that very means, better to know His Father. Like so many others, before that, I was inclined to see in God the Master and the Dispenser of Justice, rather than the Father and the Saviour. He veiled the grandeurs that would have dazzled me; He very nearly hid from me His Passion, which would have frightened me. He made Himself so very little, so that I would not be afraid of living with Him. It pleased Him to show me the goodness of His heart, His love and His tenderness, His mercies and His mildness, His patience in bearing with me, His quickness to lift me up. Truly, He has a Saviour’s heart, a heart that doesn’t know how to become angry, that never tires of pardoning, of healing, and of loving, a heart that loves extremely His mission as Saviour and physician of souls. In truth, He also has the heart of a friend. How many times has He not come to console me in my sorrows, to rejoice with me on my anniversaries by His loving visits. Now it pleases Him to remind me that He has the heart of a man, which heart needs to love men and to be loved by men, the heart of a Child God, who loves candidly and is candidly happy to be loved. He reminds me too that I also have a heart that needs to love and to be loved, and that our hearts are made one for the other. Let us then love one another and never cease loving one another.

In thus making known to me the goodness of His heart, His and His tenderness, His mercy and His mildness, His astonishing simplicity, all things that make Him so lovable and so attractive in His Holy Humanity, He, by that very means, makes His divinity known to me. His Holy Humanity is, in fact, the most faithful mirror of His Divinity. All that is found in miniature, as it were, in his sweet Childhood, is found infinitely in the Word. And, since the Word is the Splendour of the Father and the image of His Goodness, in learning of my Little Jesus, I learn also of the Father and the Holy Spirit. They are, all Three, one and the same infinite Charity. The sweet Childhood of my Little Jesus has, therefore, been for me like the “Gate which is called Beautiful” (Ac 3:2), through which He introduces me just a little bit, so little, alas, into the sanctuary of the Divinity."

bricque3-thumb.jpg

"The Little Jesus also taught me to know myself. I have but too many reasons to make myself little: my past faults, my present miseries, temptations. All these things recall me ceaselessly to humility. My Little Jesus does not permit that I should forget them; He takes care to recall them to me, but bathed, as it were, in His mercy.

Nothing, however, preaches effacement, and nothing makes humility sweet and amiable to me as does my Little Jesus at the age at which I love to contemplate Him. He is infinitely great, infinitely holy as is His Father, by reason of His divine nature, and His Sacred Humanity is adorned with the most marvelous gifts of nature and of grace. But, in order to teach us to make ourselves little, He received the counsel to hide His Divinity and let let appear in His Sacred Humanity only what befits a perfect child of His age. So well does He observe this counsel that, with the exception of His Most Holy Mother and of Saint Joseph, forewarned by revelation, no one knew who He was, so simply did He make Himself the very little One! And I, who amount to so little, should I not be ashamed to make myself great, when He who is so great makes Himself so little? And since I love Him and I want to be loved by Him, is it not in becoming like Him that I will please Him, in shrinking myself, in making nothing of myself, as it were, so as to be His size and so as to be able to walk with Him, hand in hand?

He gives me the same teachings in the Holy Eucharist where He makes Himself so small, to the point of hiding even His Sacred Humanity. But, beneath the veils of the Sacrament, it is always my Child Jesus that I delight in contemplating in His holy littleness.

He shows me His lessons and His examples realized to perfection in His Most Holy Mother. The Mother resembles her Divine Son so perfectly. Their hearts are so united by the bonds of love that they will not to be separated. One cannot better win the Heart of the Son than by loving with Him His Mother who is so loving and so loved. It is by her that He entered into the world; even now one must ask her where He is when He hides Himself. And the role of the Mother, her great joy, is to lead us to her Son, in such wise that in going to Mary, I do not leave her Little Jesus. Nor do I leave Him when He draws me to honour Him in His Passion, so sorrowful for Him and so blessed for us: “tam beatae Passionis”, as we say in the Canon of the Holy Mass.

Since the death of my youngest brother, He draws me to make the Way of the Cross every day, except when it is impossible; and I find there so much comfort. But I must admit that even in contemplating His humiliations as our Victim of Love, and even as I find Him so great in His generous sacrifice, I need not to forget His sweet Childhood and I hasten to return to my Beloved Little Jesus.

He has taught me many other things; because His Heart, as we say in the litanies, contains all the treasures of knowledge and of wisdom. It is the “abyss of all the virtues”. But He was most especially my light and my guide in the Ways of Mental Prayer and in Holy Abandonment."


48 posted on 01/08/2012 6:44:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: All
Vultus Christi

adormagi.jpg

On this glorious feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, here again is the traditional blessing from the Roman Ritual with a little explanation of it.

Epiphany Inscription Over the Doorway of the Home
20 + C + M + B + 12

The letters have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat. May Christ bless the house.” The letters recall the day on which the inscription is made, as well as the purpose of blessing.

The crosses represent the protection of the Precious Blood of Christ, Whose Sacred Name we invoke, and also the holiness of the Three Magi sanctified by their adoration of the Infant Christ.

The inscription is made above the front door, so that all who enter and depart this year may enjoy God's blessing. The month of January still bears the name of the Roman god Janus, the doorkeeper of heaven and protector of the beginning and end of things. This blessing "christens" the ancient Roman observance of the first month. The inscription is made of chalk, a product of clay, which recalls the human nature taken by the Adorable and Eternal Word of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

To bless your home this Epiphany, first read the Prologue of Saint John's Gospel, followed by the Our Father, and the Collect of the Epiphany; then write the inscription for this year above your front door with blessed chalk.

Blessing of Chalk

V. Our help is the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

Bless, O Lord God, this creature chalk
to render it helpful to Thy people.
Grant that they who use it in faith
and with it inscribe upon the doors of their homes
the names of Thy saints, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar,
may through their merits and intercession
enjoy health of body and protection of soul.
Through Christ our Lord.

And the chalk is sprinkled with Holy Water.


49 posted on 01/08/2012 6:46:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: All
Regnum Christi

I Came, I Saw and I Was Conquered
U. S. A. | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord (January 8, 2012).

January 8, 2012
Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

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.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for your perfect gift of yourself: coming as a humble child born of Mary.  The thought of you as a helpless little babe lying in a manger fills my heart with confidence. I know that you could never be capable of deceiving me, since you have divested yourself of all greatness so that I can gaze upon you. You deserve all my hope and all my love, which I humbly offer you now.

Petition: Lord, I ask you for a heart truly receptive to your message.

1. We Saw His Star: Those who are sincere of heart find God in their life. In the case of the Magi, their sincerity is shown by what they are willing to sacrifice to attain their goal. The journey required abandoning the comforts of their homeland, the needs of their family members, and the pursuit of wealth. The intention was pure, not muddled with self-centered wants, for it was nothing less than the desire to encounter God’s living presence. Their openness of heart permitted God to speak through many things in their world—from astrology to Herod, from the star to the child in the crib. What will it take for me to find God today? I must put aside all but him and let his hand lead me to that definitive encounter with his divine presence. 

2. Warned Not to Return to Herod: No star is offered to Herod or to the worldly, only darkness. The worldly may like the idea of God, and even be curious about him, but they disregard his call. They rarely leave their palace, sacrifice their time, or place themselves at the service of the divine. The prideful lovers of comfort leave their palaces and then oddly claim God is nowhere to be found in the world. They fear the loss of a comfortable world. I pray that my heart be open to all that the living Gospel requires in my life. May Christ find no obstacle in me; rather, may he find in me the will to leave my palace so that I might find and follow him.

3. Then They Opened Their Treasures: In order to give love, I must have been impacted by love. How can I hold to the demands that others place upon me? How can I keep true to my vocation and mission when little affirmation and support come my way? Every morning I need to seek out the God who gives unconditionally so that his giving may impact me. Be it at Mass, in prayer, or in the workings of divine providence, every day a necessary epiphany awaits me. It empowers me to open my coffer and bring forth the gift of self. If I do not experience this love, my life remains closed—no interior strength is found to give myself totally. John tells us: “In this is love, not that we love God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Brothers, if God so loved us, we too ought to love each other…. We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:8, 20).

Conversation with Christ: Christ, your love for me compels me to give myself and hold nothing back. I have touched a moment in human history that overwhelms my comprehension and conquers my heart for you. May I give myself as you give yourself to me: at Mass, in prayer, and in souls you call me to serve.

Resolution: I will work to improve my charity with the members of my family today, loving them as Christ does.


50 posted on 01/08/2012 6:50:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-55 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson