Sunday, January 7, 2018 Epiphany of the Lord
Isaiah 60:1-6 Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6 Matthew 2:1-12
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea, during the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw the rising of his star in the east and have come to honor him.”
When Herod heard this he was greatly disturbed and with him all Jerusalem. He immediately called a meeting of all high-ranking priests and the scribes, and asked them where the Messiah was to be born.
“In the town of Bethlehem in Judea,” they told him, “for this is what the prophet wrote: And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are by no means the least among the clans of Judah, for from you will come a leader, the one who is to shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem with the instruction, “Go and get precise information about the child. As soon as you have found him, report to me, so that I too may go and honor him.”
After the meeting with the king, they set out. The star that they had seen in the East went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. The wise men were overjoyed on seeing the star again. They went into the house and when they saw the child with Mary his mother, they knelt and worshiped him. They opened their bags and offered him their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.
In a dream they were warned not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their home country by another way.
(Daily Gospel in the
The Three Wise men (Magi) did not travel to worship the newborn king empty handed. They came with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh; gold to acknowledge his kingship, frankincense to recognize his divinity, and myrrh to foreshadow his death.
Today’s Feast used to be called “Feast of the Three Kings”. Later the Church renamed it “Feast of the Epiphany” to shift the focus of the celebration from the Three Kings (Magi) to Jesus as the revelation of God the Father. We can learn a lot from the Magi’s story whose long journey ended up in the newborn king’s presence. After our long journey on earth we too will come to God’s mighty presence. Would that we won’t come empty handed! Christianity is a results-oriented religion. Recall the Gospel passage where Jesus ordered a tree cut down because it was not bearing fruit (Lk. 13:1-9). Jesus is intolerant of a non-productive life. He will be happy if we come to his presence with faith glittering like the Magi’s gold; with a life of prayer that smells like incense to Him; and with fruits of charity that, like the Magi’s myrrh, preserve our memories in the hearts of the poor and the needy. —(Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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