January 8, 2017


January 8, 2017:  The Epiphany of the Lord

Found about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

Thanks to guest dresser Joan Vos
of the Archdiocesan Office for Worship

                1st reading 
                Pope Francis homily
                (While baptizing 28 at Sistine Chapel)  Faith isn't just reciting the Creed on Sunday; it's believing in the truth, trusting in God, and teaching others with the example of our lives.  It's the light that grows in our hearts; that's why we give a lighted candle to every person being baptized.  Baptism used to be called ‘illumination’ to show that faith helps us see things in a different light. Parents have the task of making that faith grow, nurturing it, so it may bear witness to others.
                We hear the concert of crying babies now because they're in an unfamiliar place, or they had to get up early, or they hear another baby crying.  Jesus did just the same; his first sermon was his crying in the stable.  If they're hungry, go ahead and feed them, just as Mary breastfed Jesus.
                Catch his Epiphany homily and Angelus too!
                • 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.
                • 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.
                  • The triple meaning of Epiphany:  Before the feast was associated with the Magi's visit to baby Jesus, it celebrated three events that manifested God the Son:  Jesus' Incarnation, Jesus' baptism, and the wedding at Cana....
                      Adoration of the Magi/ Murillo
                    • Creighton:  The glory of the Lord shines throughout all the earth!  So we Christians participate with Israel in God’s manifestation to the world through the child born of Mary!  Gentiles and Jews are co-heirs of God’s promises.  No one was more shocked at this than Paul, devout Jew and Pharisee who believed God’s manifestation was exclusively for Jews.  The Magi following the star dramatically illustrates that Jesus was born for everyone.  At Epiphany we celebrate that Jesus is Lord of all peoples.   Jesus’ Lordship occurs through the power of the Spirit, and the Church teaches that the Spirit's light shines in all people of good will (Gaudium et spes 22).  Christianity acknowledges the immanence of the divine in all people of good will.  Celebrate God’s epiphany to our troubled world!
                    • One Bread, One Body:  "Only fools are wise":  The wise men looked foolish, traveling for months to follow a star, giving a baby gold, incense, and myrrh (a balm for the dead).  Only fools for Christ are wise.  Don't care about looking wise, being popular, being accepted, making money, and being successful; be willing to suffer ridicule, rejection, persecution, and pain.  Christ crucified is God's Wisdom; only those who love Jesus our Wisdom, give him adore him, and suffer in the pattern of his death are wise.  Wisdom is available, but do I love him enough to ask for it?
                      The Virgin suckling the Child/ Cranach
                      30 more; Vatican:
                      "Show tender images of Mary breastfeeding"
                    • Passionist:  In recounting the Epiphany events, Matthew shows there had always been an indication that Jesus' coming was for everyone, not just Israel.  My ministry with people of many cultures has helped me understand myself as well as those I met.  Awareness of where people are is an important part of being a disciple.  The Magi’s visit prodded the royal court to look at their own Scriptures, but Herod ordered the slaughter of children to retain his power.  May we rather be like Mary and Joseph who welcomed the Magi; may we listen to others and overcome whatever divides us while remaining true to ourselves and God.  We can be an epiphany (revelation) of God’s love in Christ by listening to others, however different they may be.
                    • DailyScripture.net:  "They fell down and worshiped Jesus":  If Jesus is really the Son of God and Savior, why didn't everyone who heard and saw him recognize him?  "When he came into the world, the world didn't know him and his people didn't receive him."  Only the lowly shepherds recognized him at his birth, and some foreigners also found their way via the star to pay homage.
                    "Note the fitting order of events:  the wise men saw the star; the Jews and their king received them; they heard prophecy; the angel instructed them; they journeyed to Bethlehem by the star's guidance.  From this we learn this was no ordinary star, for no other star can guide, even beckon, them.  The star remained after they arrived, so the child might also be seen, for there's nothing conspicuous about the place:  the inn was ordinary, and the mother was not notable.  The star was needed to manifest and illumine the place, until they had reached their destination" (John Chrysostom).
                    The wise men left everything, including home and country, to pursue their quest; they were led to the source of knowledge:  Jesus Christ, God's Light and Wisdom.  They worshiped the newborn King and gave him fitting gifts.  The same Lord gives each of us the same light of revelation to recognize and accept Jesus.  The Spirit moves us so we may understand, accept, and believe the truth God revealed to us through Jesus Christ.  "Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace" (Thomas Aquinas).  To know and to encounter Jesus Christ is to know God personally.  In the encounter of the Magi with Jesus we see God's plan to give his Son as King and Savior for for all nations.  He came that all may find peace with God.  May all find the Lord and Savior on their journey of life.  Do I bring the light of Christ to those I meet?
                    Dress legend
                    • 'Christmas lights' tie, white shirt and socks:  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' pin:  Your heart shall throb (1st reading)
                    • Gold-colored accoutrements:  All shall come bearing gold... (1st reading)
                    • 'Scales' 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)
                    • 'Crown' tie bar:  Endow the king...; kings shall offer gifts (psalm); King Herod (gospel)
                    • No-'L' pin:  Christmas season lasts through tomorrow

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