January 4, 2015

Epiphany

January 4, 2015:  Epiphany of Our Lord

Listen
  • 'Christmas lights' tie, white shirt:  nations shall walk by your light (1st reading), magi followed star's light (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Raise your eyes and look about (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' tie bar:  Your heart shall throb (1st reading)
  • Gold-colored accoutrements:  all shall come bearing gold... (1st reading)
  • 'Scales of justice' pin:  The King shall govern with justice (psalm)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Peace shall flourish (psalm)
  • 'Star' tie pin:  Magi:  "We saw his star" (gospel)
  • No-'L' pin (on jacket so not visible here today; see yesterday):  Christmas lasts another week
Read
  • Is 60:1-6  Arise, Jerusalem; your light has come:  darkness covers earth, but God shines on you.  Nations shall walk by your light; they'll come to you.  They'll praise the Lord and bring you gold and frankincense.
    Magi (animate)
  • Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13  "Lord, every nation on earth will adore you."  The king shall govern with justice; peace will flourish.  All kings shall offer gifts and serve him.  He'll rescue the poor and afflicted and have pity on the lowly.
  • Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6  The mystery of God’s grace was revealed to me for your benefit.  Gentiles are coheirs and partners in Christ's promise.
  • Mt 2:1-12  Magi asked, “Where's the newborn king?  We saw his star.”  Troubled King Herod asked where and when he was to be born, then sent them to look for the child and bring him word.  They followed the star, entered, did homage, and offered gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they took another route back.
Reflect
    • Msgr. Antonio Cacciapuoti (in St. Bede 9am homily):  After seeing baby Jesus, "the magi returned another way" to avoid Herod.  Jesus changes us when we encounter him.  How is encountering Jesus transforming me? 
    Visit of the Magi
    • Creighton:  The world still seems to oppose Jesus; imagine the Light trying to push back the Darkness.  God asks us to bring his Light into areas of darkness, just as God has brought Light into our areas of darkness.  When I focus on how others are falling short, I'm spreading darkness; when I give in to frustration with others or anger at their irritating behavior, I'm not sharing the Light.  Make up verses for "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine":  "Even when I'm sad,..." "When I'm overwhelmed,..." "So many need his Light,..." "You and me together, we can let it shine."
    • One Bread One Body:  "Starry-eyed":  It was prophesied that the star not only led to Jesus, but that it was Jesus (Nm 24:17), "the Morning Star shining bright" (Rv 22:16). We his disciples are "like stars while holding fast to the word of life" (Phil 2:15).  "You're the light of the world" (Mt 5:14); "live as children of light" (Eph 5:8). 
    • Passionist:  We celebrate the "manifestation" of God's Love in Jesus, initially to shepherds, Simeon, and Anna, in today's gospel to the magi ('kings,' 'wise men').  Our Christmas gift-giving derives from the magi's.  The greatest gift is Jesus himself who comes to us sharing unconditional love.  May we do Him homage by lives of love and service rooted in simplicity, wisdom, and openness.
    • DailyScripture.net:  St. John Chrysostom on the star's significance:  "The wise men saw the star, were received by the Jews and their king, heard prophecy to explain what appeared; angel instructed them, then journeyed to Bethlehem by the star's guidance.  This was no ordinary star, for no other star can “go before” and guide them.  It remained after bringing them there, so they could see the child might also be seen.  There's nothing conspicuous about the place, the inn was ordinary, and the mother wasn't notable.  The star was needed to manifest and illumine the lowly place..." (Matthew Homily 7:3 paraphrased).  The magi, who willingly left home and country in their quest, were led to the source of knowledge, Jesus, God's Light and Wisdom.  When they found him, they humbly worshiped him and gave him gifts fitting for a king.  The Lord gives each of us the light of faith to recognize and accept him; the Spirit moves the heart and opens the mind's eye so we may understand, accept, and believe the truth God revealed through Christ.  Do I bring Light to those I meet through my life and testimony?