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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 01-05-14, SOL, Epiphany of the Lord
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 01-05-14 | Revosed New American Bible

Posted on 01/04/2014 8:13:44 PM PST by Salvation

January 5, 2014

 

Solemnity of 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
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1 posted on 01/04/2014 8:13:44 PM PST by Salvation
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2 posted on 01/04/2014 8:18:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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 be-
come a beacon for the nations (60:1-22). From there, too, the Lord’s herald pro-
claims 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 glorious 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 01/04/2014 8:25:16 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

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 01/04/2014 8:25:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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 wor-
shipped 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 ri-
vals 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 id-
eas widely accepted at the time, this sort of person, because of his significance
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. Mat-
thew”, 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 extraordi-
nary 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 tea-
ches us once more that the prophecies of the Old Testament are fulfilled in Je-
sus 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
always 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
homage 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 01/04/2014 8:26:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Jerusalem Bible published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Ecclesiasticus 24:1-2,12-16 ©

Wisdom speaks her own praises,

  in the midst of her people she glories in herself.

She opens her mouth in the assembly of the Most High,

  she glories in herself in the presence of the Mighty One;

‘Then the creator of all things instructed me,

  and he who created me fixed a place for my tent.

He said, “Pitch your tent in Jacob,

  make Israel your inheritance.”

From eternity, in the beginning, he created me,

  and for eternity I shall remain.

I ministered before him in the holy tabernacle,

  and thus was I established on Zion.

In the beloved city he has given me rest,

  and in Jerusalem I wield my authority.

I have taken root in a privileged people,

  in the Lord’s property, in his inheritance.’


Psalm

Psalm 147:12-15,19-20 ©

The Word was made flesh, and lived among us.

or

Alleluia!

O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!

  Zion, praise your God!

He has strengthened the bars of your gates

  he has blessed the children within you.

The Word was made flesh, and lived among us.

or

Alleluia!

He established peace on your borders,

  he feeds you with finest wheat.

He sends out his word to the earth

  and swiftly runs his command.

The Word was made flesh, and lived among us.

or

Alleluia!

He makes his word known to Jacob,

  to Israel his laws and decrees.

He has not dealt thus with other nations;

  he has not taught them his decrees.

The Word was made flesh, and lived among us.

or

Alleluia!


Second reading

Ephesians 1:3-6,15-18 ©

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ.

Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ,

to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence,

determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ

for his own kind purposes,

to make us praise the glory of his grace,

his free gift to us in the Beloved.

That will explain why I, having once heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus, and the love that you show towards all the saints, have never failed to remember you in my prayers and to thank God for you. May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit.


Gospel Acclamation

cf.1Tim3:16

Alleluia, alleluia!

Glory be to you, O Christ, proclaimed to the pagans.

Glory be to you, O Christ, believed in by the world.

Alleluia!

EITHER:

Gospel

John 1:1-18 ©

In the beginning was the Word:

and the Word was with God

and the Word was God.

He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things came to be,

not one thing had its being but through him.

All that came to be had life in him

and that life was the light of men,

a light that shines in the dark,

a light that darkness could not overpower.

A man came, sent by God.

His name was John.

He came as a witness,

as a witness to speak for the light,

so that everyone might believe through him.

He was not the light,

only a witness to speak for the light.

The Word was the true light

that enlightens all men;

and he was coming into the world.

He was in the world

that had its being through him,

and the world did not know him.

He came to his own domain

and his own people did not accept him.

But to all who did accept him

he gave power to become children of God,

to all who believe in the name of him

who was born not out of human stock

or urge of the flesh

or will of man

but of God himself.

The Word was made flesh,

he lived among us,

and we saw his glory,

the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father,

full of grace and truth.

John appears as his witness. He proclaims:

‘This is the one of whom I said:

He who comes after me ranks before me

because he existed before me.’

Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received –

yes, grace in return for grace,

since, though the Law was given through Moses,

grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.

No one has ever seen God;

it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart,

who has made him known.

OR:

Alternative Gospel

John 1:1-5,9-14 ©

In the beginning was the Word:

and the Word was with God

and the Word was God.

He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things came to be,

not one thing had its being but through him.

All that came to be had life in him

and that life was the light of men,

a light that shines in the dark,

a light that darkness could not overpower.

The Word was the true light

that enlightens all men;

and he was coming into the world.

He was in the world

that had its being through him,

and the world did not know him.

He came to his own domain

and his own people did not accept him.

But to all who did accept him

he gave power to become children of God,

to all who believe in the name of him

who was born not out of human stock

or urge of the flesh

or will of man

but of God himself.

The Word was made flesh,

he lived among us,

and we saw his glory,

the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father,

full of grace and truth.


6 posted on 01/04/2014 8:37:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Savior Has Been Born!


7 posted on 01/04/2014 9:03:06 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Was Jesus Born on Christmas Day?
The Heart of a Shepherd
The Christmas Carol For the Christian Right
Pope Francis' Christmas Homily-2013
December 25 - Christmas Day
Pope Francis: Urbi et Orbi Message
The Humility that Heals – A Homily for Christmas
Yes, Mary DOES Know
Jesus is 'meaning of life, history,' Pope preaches on Christmas
Christmas Midnight Mass: Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness
Dominican carolers bring joy of Christmas to downtown DC
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on the meaning of Christmas
Christmas message from Heads of Churches in Jerusalem
The Promise and Fulfillment of Christmas
Why is Christmas Celebrated Mainly at Night?

The Angels in Bethlehem
The Irrepressible Joy of Christmas
Favorite Christmas Movies! What's Yours?
Far From Happy Christmas for Christians in the Holy Land
Why December 25?
Pope’s Christmas message warns gender theory is a denial of God and the Bible
Jerusalem (Latin Rite) patriarch's Christmas message surveys Middle East situation
5 Ways to Keep the Christmas Spirit Alive in Your Heart
Pope Says Denying God No Path to Peace in Christmas Eve Mass
Pope: Christmas Urbi et Orbi Message (full text)
Pope Benedict’s Midnight Mass Homily
The Old Testament Foretold that Mary Would Give Birth Without Pain (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas -- for Families
Is Christmas Pagan? No! It's time to learn some real history....
Pope's childhood letter to Baby Jesus shows his faith
In rare article, Pope asks Christians to reassess priorities at Christmas
On Christmas and Epiphany
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': 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]

8 posted on 01/04/2014 9:04:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

9 posted on 01/04/2014 9:05:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 01/04/2014 9:12:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
11 posted on 01/04/2014 9:12:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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.

12 posted on 01/04/2014 9:15:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there 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 Spirit (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]


13 posted on 01/04/2014 9:15:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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
+

14 posted on 01/04/2014 9:17:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
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"

   

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.


15 posted on 01/04/2014 9:17:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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

 


 

 

What does IHS stand for? The meaning of the Holy Name of Jesus [Catholic Caucus]
Litany Of The Holy Name of Jesus
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

16 posted on 01/04/2014 9:18:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
January 2014

Pope's Intentions

Universal: That all may promote authentic economic development that respects the dignity of all peoples.

For Evangelization: That Christians of diverse denominations may walk toward the unity desired by Christ.

17 posted on 01/04/2014 9:19:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

Year A  -  The Epiphany of the Lord

We have come from the East to worship the King

Matthew 2:1-12

1 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

The Jewish people were expecting the Messiah for thousands of years.
However, my coming into the world was a humble event very obscure to them, but for the light given off by a star.

I am the light of the world that came to give light to those in darkness. The people who had the light of God through the Holy Scriptures were living in darkness just as the rest of the world.

Only the humble servants of God and a few shepherds received the knowledge of my coming and participated in the coming of the great light that would overcome darkness.

In the same way three very special humble men were chosen from different cultures to perceive in wisdom the great event that was taking place, the coming of the Saviour of the world.

Just as the rain comes for the good and the bad, and the sun shines to virtuous and sinners alike, I have come for everyone. Every human being has been made in the image of God, but sin has destroyed that image. I am the Lord who forgives sins and restores the image of God in every person.

The enemy has always been around trying to destroy the work of God, Herod was preparing to destroy the New King, but the plan of God has always been superior to the plan of the wicked.

The three wise men represent all the peoples of the world, who live in darkness and need my light to survive spiritually. I accepted the homage of these three humble men who went out of their ways to give glory to God by accepting the coming of His Son into the world.

The offering of the incense represents faith in me, Jesus, the Son of the Living God. This is the greatest gift any one can offer me. This I accept through your prayers and your acceptance of my Word and the Church I left to represent me.

The offering of myrrh represents the suffering that I endured and the sufferings that all those who believe in me must suffer for my sake. It is the cross, which is given to everyone of my followers and requires the acceptance of the Will of God.

The offering of gold represents the treasure of praise, adoration, honour and thanksgiving offered to me, your Lord, God and Saviour. It is the gift that I receive from every soul who appreciates that I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


18 posted on 01/04/2014 9:31:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

“Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8”
*****************************************

My goodness “Salvation”,
I thought that was a verse on praying for our leaders to have wisdom, so I went to go mark it in my Bible, and boy was I surprised ... smiles.

Psalms 109:8
Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

I’m not sure if I should be laughing this hard about it, or crying.
That bumper sticker be bold, I must say.


19 posted on 01/04/2014 9:34:53 PM PST by A child of Yah (I once was lost, but now I'm found, twas grace that set me free ... thank you LORD)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

From Magi to Wise Men – A Homily For Epiphany

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

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 Magi, in their journey of faith to become wise men. As Magi, they followed the faint stars, distant points of light; as Wise Men they follow Jesus who is the ever Glorious Light from Light, true God from true God.

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 from being mere Magi to becoming by God’s grace, 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 learned 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 did 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).

To persevere is open the door to Wisdom which must often be sought in spite of obstacles.

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! The Beginning of Wisdom is the fear of the Lord. And these Magi are well on their way from being mere Magi to being Wise Men!

But is their faith 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.

In their Holy reverence for God is Wisdom in its initial stage!

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).

No longer mere Magi, now the wisdom of Wise Men!

So there it is. Through careful stages the Lord has brought the Gentiles (this means you) to conversion. He called these Magi to Wisdom. 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 now 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 01/04/2014 9:36:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Why is it that the poor — the shepherds and the non-Christian magi, foreigners were the first to visit this new King, Jesus?


21 posted on 01/04/2014 9:38:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Gospel Reflections

Epiphany
Reading I: Is 60:1-6 II: Eph 3:2-3,3:5-6


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
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 01/04/2014 9:41:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday, January 05, 2014
The Epiphany of the Lord (Solemnity)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13
Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6
Matthew 2:1-12

How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.

-- Psalm lxxxiii. 2,3


23 posted on 01/04/2014 9:43:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

24 posted on 01/04/2014 9:48:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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. 


25 posted on 01/04/2014 9:50:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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 :


26 posted on 01/05/2014 7:55:51 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From Magi to Wise Men – A Homily For Epiphany

History of the Magi: Who were the Wise Men?
Why “Celebrate” Christmas—and the Epiphany?
On Christmas and Epiphany
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

27 posted on 01/05/2014 8:27:25 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint John Neumann, Bishop

Saint John Neumann, Bishop
Memorial
January 5th
[In the Dioceses of the United States]



Giavanni Gagliardi, c. 1860

Saint John Nepomucene Neumann was born March 28, 1811 at Prachititz, Bohemia.

He studied for the priesthood at Charles Ferdinand University at Prague in 1833. The bishop was sick when it was time for ordination. The ordination was not reschedule because Bohemia had an over-abundance of priest. He decided to go to the American missions. Bishop John Dubois ordained him on June 28, 1836. He became a Redemptorists in 1840 and became Bishop of Philadelphia in 1852.

He opened almost 100 schools, built over 50 churches and started building the Cathedral. His diocese grew from 500 to 9000. He also wrote two catechisms and many newspaper articles. He also prescribed Forty Hour devotions (Eucharistic Adoration).

Sources:
1)
Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

2) http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintj08.htm


CANONIZATION OF JOHN NEPOMUCENE NEUMANN
HOMILY OF PAUL VI
Sunday, 19 June 1977

Greetings to you, Brethren, and sons and daughters of the United States of America! We welcome you in the name of the Lord!

The entire Catholic Church, here, at the tomb of the Apostle Peter, welcomes you with festive joy. And together with you, the entire Catholic Church sings a hymn of heavenly victory to Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, who receives the honor of one who lives in the glory of Christ.

In a few brief words we shall describe for the other pilgrims some details of his life, which are already known to you.

We ask ourselves today: what is the meaning of this extraordinary event, the meaning of this canonization? It is the celebration of holiness. And what is holiness? It is human perfection, human love raised up to its highest level in Christ, in God.

At the time of John Neumann, America represented new values and new hopes. Bishop Neumann saw these in their relationship to the ultimate, supreme possession to which humanity is destined. With Saint Paul he could testify that “all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3, 22). And with Augustine he knew that our hearts are restless, until they rest in the Lord (S. AUGUSTINI Confessiones, 1, 1).

His love for people was authentic brotherly love. It was real charity: missionary and pastoral charity. It meant that he gave himself to others. Like Jesus the Good Shepherd, he lay down his life for the sheep, for Christ’s flock: to provide for their needs, to lead them to salvation. And today, with the Evangelist, we solemnly proclaim : “There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Io. 15, 13).

John Neumann’s pastoral zeal was manifested in many ways. Through faithful and persevering service, he brought to completion the generosity of his initial act of missionary dedication. He helped children to satisfy their need for truth, their need for Christian doctrine, for the teaching of Jesus in their lives. He did this both by catechetical instruction and by promoting, with relentless energy, the Catholic school system in the United States. And we still remember the words of our late Apostolic Delegate in Washington, the beloved Cardinal Amleto Cicognani: “You Americans”, he said, “possess two great treasures: the Catholic school and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Guard them like the apple of your eye” (Cfr. Epistola 2 iunii 1963).

And who can fail to admire all the loving concern that John Neumann showed for God’s people, through his priestly ministry and his pastoral visitations as a Bishop? He deeply loved the Sacramental of Reconciliation: and like a worthy son of Saint Alphonsus he transmitted the pardon and the healing power of the Redeemer into the lives of innumerable sons and daughters of the Church. He was close to the sick; he was at home with the poor; he was a friend to sinners. And today he is the honor of all immigrants, and from the viewpoint of the Beatitudes the symbol of Christian success.

John Neumann bore the image of Christ. He experienced, in his innermost being, the need to proclaim by word and example the wisdom and power of God, and to preach the crucified Christ. And in the Passion of the Lord he found strength and the inspiration of his ministry: Passio Christi conforta me!

The Eucharistic Sacrifice was the center of his life, and constituted for him what the Second Vatican Council would later call “the source and summit of all evangelization” (Presbiterorum Ordinis, 5). With great effectiveness, through the Forty Hours Devotion he helped his parishes become communities of faith and service.

But to accomplish his task, love was necessary. And love meant giving; love meant effort; love meant sacrifice. And in his sacrifice, Bishop Neumann’s service was complete. He led his people along the paths of holiness. He was indeed an effective witness, in his generation, to God’s love for his Church and the world.

There are many who have lived and are still living the divine command of generous love. For love still means giving oneself for others, because Love has come down to humanity; and from humanity love goes back to its divine source! How many men and women make this plan of God the program of their lives! Our praise goes to the clergy, religious and Catholic laity of America who, in following the Gospel, live according to this plan of sacrifice and service. Saint John Neumann is a true example for all of us in this regard. It is not enough to acquire the good things of the earth, for these can even be dangerous, if they stop or impede our love from rising to its source and reaching its goal. Let us always remember that the greatest and the first commandment is this: “You shall love the Lord your God” (Matth. 22, 36).

True humanism in Christianity. True Christianity-we repeatis the sacrifice of self for others, because of Christ, because of God. It is shown by signs; it is manifested in deeds. Christianity is sensitive to the suffering and oppression and sorrow of others, to poverty, to all human needs, the first of which is truth.

Our ceremony today is indeed the celebration of holiness. At the same time, it is a prophetic anticipation-for the Church, for the United States, for the world-of a renewal in love: love for God, love for neighbor.

And in this vital charity, beloved sons and daughters, let us go forward together, to build up a real civilization of love.

Saint John Neumann, by the living power of your example and by the intercession of your prayers, help us today and for ever.

Source: Vatican Website


Collect:
O God, who called the Bishop Saint John Neumann,
renowned for his charity and pastoral service,
to shepherd your people in America,
grant by his intercession
that, as we foster the Christian education of youth
and are strenghtened by the witness of brotherly love,
we may constantly increase the family of your Church.
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: 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
For if I, Paul, preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. What then is my reward? Just this: that in my preaching I may make the gospel free of charge, not making full use of my right in the gospel.

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.


Gospel Reading: John 10:11-16
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because He is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know My own and My own know Me, as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed My voice. So there shall be one flock, one Shepherd.

28 posted on 01/05/2014 8:41:01 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Saint's Day is always superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

St. John Neumann Confronts
Neumann Year begins Wednesday (200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Neumann) (Catholic Caucus)
St. John Neumann and the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
St. John Nepomucene Neumann (1811-1860)

29 posted on 01/05/2014 8:49:04 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Information: St. John N. Neumann

Feast Day:

January 5

Born:

28 March 1811 at Prachititz, Bohemia

Died:

5 January 1860

Canonized:

19 June 1977 by Pope Paul VI

Major Shrine:

National Shrine of Saint John Neumann, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


30 posted on 01/05/2014 8:50:51 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. John Neumann


Feast Day: January 05
Born: 1811 :: Died: 1860

John Neumann was born in Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic. He was a quiet small boy, only five feet, two inches tall but his eyes were very kind and he smiled a lot. His parents were Philip who was a German and Agnes Neumann who was Chez. He had four sisters and a brother.

He was an excellent student, who was drawn to the religious life when he was quite young. After college, John entered the seminary. When time came for ordination, the bishop was sick. The date was never set because Bohemia had enough priests at the time.

Since he had been reading about missionary activities in the United States, John decided to go to America to ask for ordination. He walked most of the way to France and then boarded the ship Europa for America.

John arrived in Manhattan on June 9, 1836 without informing anyone that he was coming. Bishop John Dubois was very happy to see him as there were only thirty-six priests for the two hundred thousand Catholics living in the state of New York and part of New Jersey.

Just sixteen days after his arrival, John was ordained a priest and sent to Buffalo. There he helped Father Pax care for his parish, which was nine hundred square miles in size. Father Pax asked him to choose between working in the city of Buffalo or the country area. Now John's strong character began to show when he chose the most difficult - the country area.

He decided to stay in a little town with an unfinished church. Once it was completed, he moved to another town that had a log-church. There he built himself a small log cabin. He hardly ever lit a fire and often lived on bread and water. He only slept a few hours each night.

The farms in his area were far apart. John had to walk long distances to reach his people. They were German, French, Irish and Scotch. But John who knew twelve languages, worked with them all.

John joined the Redemptorist order and continued his missionary work. He became bishop of Philadelphia in 1852. Bishop Neumann built fifty churches and began building a cathedral. He opened almost one hundred schools, and the number of parochial school students grew from five hundred to nine thousand.

Bishop Neumann's health never improved much, but people were still very surprised when he died suddenly on January 5, 1860 when he was just forty-eight years old.

He was the first American man and first American bishop to be declared a saint by Pope Paul VI on June 19, 1977.

We might not be as smart, strong, or active as we would like to be. But that doesn't stop God from loving us and from using us to do wonderful things. When we have to do something difficult, we can ask St. John Neumann's help.


31 posted on 01/05/2014 9:01:58 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Thanks for posting these Navarre Commentaries. These, together with Msgr Pope’s sermons posted by markomalley, give me great inspiration (plus plagiarizing opportunities!) as I am preparing my Bible Study with the RCIA Catechumens.

‘Preciate ya!


32 posted on 01/05/2014 9:04:08 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (All of Shakespeare's poems and plays were written by different guys with the same name. :o))
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To: Mrs. Don-o; nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; ...

Watch this Judge Jeannine video everyone! (I don’t usually do two pings on a thread, but this is excellent!)

http://www.westernfreepress.com/2014/01/04/judge-jeanines-2014-wishlist-destroys-obama-and-his-gang/


33 posted on 01/05/2014 9:14:32 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Thanks, I appreciate your kind words.


34 posted on 01/05/2014 9:15:15 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Jeanine Pirro — oh my Mord. I’m sharing this around!


35 posted on 01/05/2014 9:42:22 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance; give victory to the faithful over their adversary)
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To: Salvation
Good stuff.
Obama, the wimperer and ditherer.
36 posted on 01/05/2014 9:52:26 AM PST by cloudmountain
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To: cloudmountain; Mrs. Don-o

Like I said, I usually don’t two pings on one of these threads, but that was excellent.


37 posted on 01/05/2014 11:11:25 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Yes, it was. THANK you.


38 posted on 01/05/2014 11:12:45 AM PST by cloudmountain
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To: All
CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Sunday, January 5

Liturgical Color: White

St. Edward the Confessor, King of England,
died on this day in 1066. He was known as a
good and holy person, and for putting the
welfare of his people before his own. He
completed the construction of Westminster
Abbey where he was buried.

39 posted on 01/05/2014 11:15:46 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:January 05, 2014
(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.

RECIPES

o    Brazilian King's Bread

o    Candied Fruit Peel -- Epiphany Gift

o    Cappelletti all'uso di Romagna

o    Dutch King's Bread

o    Epiphany Bread

o    Fave dei Morti

o    Fireside Punch

o    Fresh Tomato Sauce

o    Galette des Rois

o    Gateau des Rois (1)

o    Gateau des Rois (2)

o    Insalata di Rinforzo

o    King Cake (New Orleans' Style)

o    King’s Ring

o    Kings’ Bread Ring

o    Lamb Pie with Poppy Seed Crust

o    Lamb’s Wool (1)

o    Lamb's Wool, Non-alcoholic (1)

o    Lambs’ Wool (2)

o    Little Hats Cappelletti

o    Little Mince Pies

o    Mostarda di Cremona

o    Pate de Noel

o    Rosca de Reyes

o    Spanish King's Bread

o    Spanish King's Cake

o    Twelfth Cake

o    Twelfth Day Cake

o    Twelfth Night Bread I

o    Twelfth Night Bread II

o    Twelfth Night Bread of Lady Carcas

o    Twelfth Night Cake

o    Twelfth Night Cake

o    King's Cake

ACTIVITIES

o    A Children's Party for Twelfth Night

o    A Christmas Play

o    An Epiphany Drama

o    Carnival or Mardi Gras

o    Celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany

o    Christmas and the Eucharist

o    Christmas at Home and in the Liturgy

o    Day Twelve ~ Activities for the Feast of Epiphany

o    Day Twelve ~ Activities for the Twelfth Day of Christmas

o    Enthroning the Crib for Epiphany

o    Epiphany Cake Tradition

o    Epiphany Crib Scene Figures

o    Epiphany Feast Suggestions

o    Epiphany Home Blessing Ceremony

o    Epiphany Mass

o    Epiphany Mass in an Eastern Rite

o    Epiphany of Our Lord

o    Epiphany Plays for the Family and Community

o    Explanation of Epiphany, or the Manifestation of the Lord

o    Family and Friends of Jesus Scrapbook Album

o    Giving of Presents

o    Kings' Party or Twelfth Night Party

o    Living the Liturgy in the Home for Advent and Christmas

o    Meaning of Epiphany

o    Posters for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany

o    Singing and Acting

o    The Wise Men, An Epiphany Legend

o    Tradition of the Epiphany Mystery Play

o    Twelfth Night Cake And Kings Tradition

PRAYERS

o    Blessing of Chalk on Epiphany from Roman Ritual

o    Blessing of the Home on Epiphany

o    Procession to the Royal Crib

o    Christmas Morning Prayers

o    Christmas Evening Prayers

o    Epiphany Prayers for the Home (without Home Blessing)

o    Summary of Epiphany Blessings

o    Christmas Table Blessing 1

o    Christmas Table Blessing 2

o    Christmas Table Blessing 3

o    Christmas Table Blessing 4

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing of a Christmas Tree

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing of Homes During the Christmas and Easter Seasons

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Christmas Season (2nd Plan)

o    Epiphany Blessing

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing of the Christmas Tree for the Home (Shorter Rite)

o    Epiphany Prayer from Mozarabic Breviary

o    Epiphany Prayer - 2 from Mozarabic Breviary

o    Blessing of Gold, Incense, and Myrrh on Epiphany from the Roman Ritual

o    Blessing of Homes on Epiphany from the Roman Ritual

o    Blessing of Water on Eve of Epiphany from Roman Ritual

o    Epiphany Home Blessing Ceremony

o    Epiphany Meal Blessing

o    Solemn Announcing of Movable Feastdays on Epiphany

LIBRARY

o    Be An Epiphany Of Christ, Of His Merciful Love | Pope John Paul II

o    Benedict XVI Homily for Feast of the Epiphany 2011 | Pope Benedict XVI

o    Epiphany Celebrates Church's Catholicity | Pope John Paul II

o    The Epiphany of the Lord | Kilian J. Hennrich O

·         Christmas: January 5th

·         Epiphany of the Lord

Old Calendar: Holy Name of Jesus

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


Ordinarily today is the feast of St. John Neumann which is superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.


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.

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

The feast of the Epiphany, which was kept in the East and in certain Western Churches before being observed in Rome, seems to have been originally a feast of the nativity; January 6, for those churches where it was kept, was the equivalent of Christmas (December 25) in the Roman Church. The feast was introduced at Rome in the second half of the sixth century and became the complement and, so to say, the crown of the Christmas festival.

Epiphany means manifestation. What the Church celebrates today is the manifestation of our Lord to the whole world; after being made known to the shepherds of Bethlehem He is revealed to the Magi who have come from the East to adore Him. Christian tradition has ever seen in the Magi the first fruits of the Gentiles; they lead in their wake all the peoples of the earth, and thus the Epiphany is an affirmation of universal salvation. St. Leo brings out this point admirably in a sermon, read at Matins, in which he shows in the adoration of the Magi the beginnings of Christian faith, the time when the great mass of the heathen sets off to follow the star which summons it to seek its Saviour.

That is the meaning, too, of the wonderful prophecy from Isaias which the liturgy appoints to be read in the first nocturn at Matins and at the Epistle of the Mass. This same thought of universal redemption the Church returns to as she sings, in the antiphon to the Magnificat at 2nd Vespers, applying the words to herself, of the union with Christ typified by the wedding feast at Cana, by the baptism of her children foreshadowed by that of Christ in the waters of the Jordan. Formerly the Epiphany was an additional day for solemn baptisms.

The Twelfth 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:

Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

Things to Do:


40 posted on 01/05/2014 11:40:34 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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

41 posted on 01/05/2014 12:19:54 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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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
42 posted on 01/05/2014 12:20:29 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Adoration of the Magi

Fra Angelico

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

43 posted on 01/05/2014 12:21:01 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Adoration of the Magi

Fra Angelico

c. 1445
Panel, diameter 137,4 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

44 posted on 01/05/2014 12:21:27 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Adoration of the Magi

Albrecht Dürer

1504
Oil on wood, 100 x 114 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

45 posted on 01/05/2014 12:21:50 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
Second Sunday of Christmas Feast of the Epiphany also Feast of the Magi, Jan. 6 Bedouin Princess (Listen to the audio at link)
46 posted on 01/05/2014 12:24:15 PM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 2:1-12

The Epiphany of the Lord

They opened their treasures and offered him gifts. (Matthew 2:11)

What’s the best gift you have received this Christmas? How about the best gift you have given? Most likely, it wasn’t this year’s must-have item, which everyone lined up to buy. Rather, it was one you chose specifically for that person, something that reflected his or her personality perfectly.

In many cultures, Christmas gifts are given not on December 25 but on the feast of the Epiphany. The tradition is meant to honor the Magi, who gave the infant Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts had symbolic value, but they were probably quite helpful as well during the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt.

Thinking about gift giving at Epiphany can help us shift the focus a bit. Just as the Magi gave Jesus presents, we too have the opportunity to offer the Lord some gifts of our own. Of course, now that he has ascended to heaven and is no longer in need of anything, we face a quandary: what gift can I possibly offer the Creator and Lord of the universe?

The familiar verse from the poet Christina Rossetti has it right: What can I give him, poor as I am? Give him my heart.

There are gifts we treasure not so much because they are appropriate for us as recipients but because the giver has put so much love into them. Think of the toddler offering his mother a dandelion, the older child who has carved his initials into a wooden paperweight, or the author who autographs the first copy of his book to present to his mentor. In the same way, God is delighted when we offer him what no one else can give: ourselves.

No one can praise God in quite the same way as you. No one can follow him down the exact same path. No one but you can love the same set of people. This is how we give Jesus a gift that fills him with delight.

“Lord Jesus, I give you my heart, the heart you created to love you.”

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

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 should fill us with hope as we contemplate what God has accomplished in the coming of Jesus. Through his coming: “light has come,” “the glory of the Lord shines upon you,” “your sons (and daughters) come from afar,” and “you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow” (Isaiah 60:1,4,5). In what ways does your faith in Jesus fill you with hope? What are some areas of your life that need an increase in faith and hope? What are some steps you can take in 2014 to increase your faith and hope in those areas?

2. The Responsorial Psalm speaks of a king endowed by God to “govern your people with justice,” “rescue the poor when he cries out,” “have pity for the lowly and the poor,” and “the lives of the poor he shall save” (Psalm 72: 2,12,13). In what ways has Jesus fulfilled these words? In 2014, what are some new steps you can take to share in this work of Jesus?

3. In the second reading, we hear the wonderful revelation that the Gentiles are now coheirs with the Jewish people in all the promises fulfilled in Jesus Christ. How can we as Christians be a better witness of Christ’s love to our Jewish brothers and sisters? Why not spend a few minutes now to pray for Jewish people whom you know, and for all the Jewish people, that they may one day come to know Jesus as their Messiah.

4. In the Gospel, we are told that when the magi inquired of the whereabouts of the “newborn king of the Jews,” King Herod was “greatly troubled and all Jerusalem with him” (Matthew 2: 2,3). Why do you think King Herod was so troubled by this news? The magi, on the other hand, were overjoyed when they found Jesus, and “did him homage” (2:11). Why do you think the magi’s reaction was so different than Herod’s? What is your reaction when you reflect on these events?

5. The meditation describes the tradition of gift giving at Christmas and on the feast of the Epiphany: “to honor the Magi, who gave the infant Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” This question is then posed: “what gift can I possibly offer the Creator and Lord of the universe?” The poet Christina Rossetti gives us an excellent answer: “What can I give him, poor as I am? Give him my heart.” What does giving your heart to Jesus mean to you?

6. Take some time now to pray for the grace to give your life (your heart) more deeply to the Lord in 2014. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.


47 posted on 01/05/2014 4:36:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
A Christian Pilgrim

TO SEE JESUS IN A NEW WAY

(A biblical reflection on THE SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD, Sunday, 5 January 2014)

10_02

Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:1-12 

First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalms: Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,10-13; Second Reading: Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6 

The Scripture Text

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 He who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and 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 worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:1-12 RSV)  

So great was the incarnation of the Son of God that even the inanimate creation bore witness to the event. A brilliant new star appeared in the night sky, signaling the fulfillment of God’s promise to send a Savior who would establish His Kingdom on earth.

20101216193236!Journey_of_the_Magi

So momentous, too, was the coming of God among women and men that astrologers from the East – pagans who stood outside of the covenants of Israel – were moved to seek out this new King. Although they could not fully grasp whagt had taken place in the birth of this Boy to a simple Galilean couple, by some mysterious gift of faith, the wise men recognized His authority and knelt down and worshipped Him. The humble setting of the home and the simple humility of the parents shrouded the Child’s royalty, yet these men grasped the truth and “were overwhelmed with joy” to have found Him (Matthew 2:10-11),

Today is a perfect opportunity to ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes so that we can see Jesus in a new way. He is no longer a simple little Child. He is the One who lived and earthly life, suffered, died, rose again, and now reigns at the right hand of God in glory and majesty. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and He has poured out His Spirit to give us a deep revelation of Him, so that we too might bow down and worship Him.

Jesus taught us, “Seek, and you shall find” (Matthew 7:7). The wise men certainly experienced the truth of these words! They sought the meaning of the star, and God guided them to Jesus. Let us dedicate ourselves to seeking Jesus daily and listening for the Holy Spirit as seriously as the wise men did. Then, like these wise men, we too will become “overwhelmed with joy” because we will have seen Jesus for who He truly is.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the King of kings and Lord of lords. I place myself under Your authority. I bow down and worship and adore You today. Come, Holy Spirit, and reveal Jesus to me. Amen.

48 posted on 01/05/2014 4:43:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

EPIPHANY

(A biblical reflection on THE SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD, Sunday, 5 January 2014)

the_magi_henry_siddons_mowbray_1915-zkq72e2

First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalms: Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,10-13; Second Reading: Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6; Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:1-12  

We believe that Jesus Christ was truly human and divine. 

The liturgy of Christmas up to this point has emphasized the humanity of Jesus. We were drawn in mind to see the helpless infant in the crib. Saint Luke stressed the human themes of poverty and humility through the Christmas story. Then we were taken forward some years to reflect on the Holy Family at Nazareth. These were the hidden years when Jesus was so ordinarily human that those who knew Him at Nazareth would not accept Him later as a preacher. 

The Epiphany, by contrast, emphasizes the divinity of Jesus Christ. The Greek word, epiphany, could be applied to the triumphant entry of a king into a town to the cheers of public acclaim. Nowadays we might think of the victorious team bringing home the cup to the strains of the local bands, the mayor reading the citation of greatness and the cheering thousands responding in thunderous acclamation. 

As the Gospels tell the human story of the ministry of Jesus, the theme of His divinity constantly works its way into the narrative. There are several episodes which specifically manifest His divine power and glory. Technically these are called epiphany stories: epiphany here meaning the outward showing of the inner, divine greatness. 

Remember the day on the mountain when Jesus was transfigured in awesome light. And the day of His baptism when the voice from heaven testified to His identity as the Beloved Son of the Father. His miracles also manifested the power of Jesus. The story of the miracle at the wedding at Cana was developed by John unto this conclusion: “He let His glory be seen, and His disciple believed in Him” (John 2:11). 

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The event we most associate with epiphany is today’s story of the coming of the wise men who knelt in homage before the infant King and offered appropriate, symbolic gifts. This story is like a summary of the entire life of Jesus. His birth was like a new star rising in the skies to guide people on their pilgrimage of life. He was recognized and followed by all who genuinely sought wisdom. But many of His own nation rejected Him for various reasons. 

The political leaders of the Jews, represented by Herod and the Jerusalem set, were perturbed. They felt threatened by a Child. The chief priests and scribes had access to all the right texts. But they stayed there peering into their texts and did not step out on the road of faith. The wise men, however, continued their journey forward. They found the house and went into it. 

It represents the house of faith. 

The gift of gold expressed the inner significance of kingship; the use of incense was an outer manifestation of priesthood; and myrrh suggested the Messiah as the Suffering Servant. 

At the time of his writing Matthew had seen how the Jews had by and large rejected the Christian preachers. But the gentile nations had come forward to belief and were entering the house of faith, the Church. That was something which thrilled the heart of Saint Paul. In today’s second reading he rejoices that “the pagans now share the same inheritance, that they are part of the same body, and that the same promise is made to them, in Christ Jesus, through the Gospel” (Ephesians 3:5-6). 

The epiphany stories are rich in their inner significance. The outer details of the stories point to the mystery of divinity hidden in Jesus Christ. The feast of the Epiphany celebrated His divinity and call on all people to follow His star and to walk in His light. 

O Light of God, rising for us at the birth of Jesus, shine power fully through the darkness of this age and guide us in the ways of wisdom. 

O Light of God, resplendent in the teaching of Jesus, may we grow in faith and experience the delight of walking in your paths. 

O Light of God, implanted in our hearts by the Spirit of Jesus, may we experience what it is to fall on our knees in adoration. 

Note: Note: Taken from Fr. Silvester O’Flynn OFMCap, THE GOOD NEWS OF MATTHEW’S YEAR, Dublin, Ireland: Cathedral Books, pages 41-43.

49 posted on 01/05/2014 4:47:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

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

Daily Marriage Tip for January 5, 2014: (Epiphany Sunday) “They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.” (Mt. 10-11) Spend some time today as a family basking in the joy of Christmas. Visit a nativity scene and pray together.

50 posted on 01/05/2014 4:57:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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