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Jan 07, 2006

JANUARY 8, 2006

ISAIAH 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.

EPHESIANS 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.

MATTHEW 2:1-12
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King
Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem,
saying,� "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at
its rising and have come to do him homage." When King Herod heard
this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he
inquired of them where the 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.

The word "Epiphany" comes from the Greek work "Epiphaino", which
means "appearing," a "manifestation," a "shining forth" of something
that was previously a secret or hidden.� Why has history and the
Catholic liturgy applied this word to the story of the visit of the
Magi to the newly born Jesus?� What was the secret?� What was made
manifest for the first time?

One was that the child born of Mary in Bethlehem was to be the
Messiah, the Holy One long awaited by the Jews.� This was the
centerpiece of the message upon which all else are connected.� But
the story about the Magi traveling from distant lands to pay homage
to the Lord unveils also a startling extension of this revelation.�
It reveals that the Christ, the Jewish Messiah, had come not only
for the Jews but also for the whole world, that his reign would
extend far to the east and the west of Israel.� The story of the
Magi was an early signal that the Church of Christ would be

By means of the Epiphany story Matthew gives notice early in his
account that the coming of Jesus would have world-shaking
implications.� With the coming of Jesus there would no longer be a
chosen people – for in Christ all are chosen, all invited to the
table of the Lord.� In the kingdom there would be neither Jew nor

In featuring the tale of the Magi in his infancy-narrative, Matthew
is making the statement that from the viewpoint of the kingdom of
God; all men and all women are created equal.� This doctrine of a
basic Christian equality will be reinforced at Pentecost – the
second Epiphany – when people coming from many different lands,
speaking different languages will all understand.�

But what does Christ's message of a basic equality mean for us
today? It does have truly major implications. It means that we are
called to a high degree of tolerance for others, or better a high
degree of respect and reverence for each person.� It means that we
must be inclusive of all persons, of people of every race and
gender, even the unborn.� It means that we must respect people's
sincere consciences, even if we feel they are objectively wrong.� We
must strive to love the sinner even as we hate the sin.� This for
the simple reason that God loves us all with an unconditional love,
and has given us all the same invitation into his kingdom.�

Christians who are truly Christian are not envious of the qualities
they see in others.� They acknowledge them and celebrate them.� They
rejoice whenever and wherever they discover a gift of God, either in
themselves or in others.� To love someone is to wish good things for
that person – that he or she will radiate, grow, run, leap, and
dance with God's gifts.

Christian equality does not foster a tolerance of relative morality,
a do-your-own thing mentality.� While it is eager to praise, it is
not afraid to stand up and confront in the face of evident evils.�
Like Jesus cleansing the temple, it will not stand back from using
a "tough love," which through fraternal correction, challenges
people to change.

On that glorious night in the East over two thousand years ago, the
star of God's love shone upon both Jewish shepherds and Arab Magi
above a stable in Bethlehem.� It is a sign of our equal worth, in
the eyes of God and one another.� The exchange of gifts on Epiphany
symbolizes our duty to love.� What is Christian love (agap�), after
all, but the giving of gifts.� Love is to wish the good of the
other. To make music with the heart."

We pray�-

-�for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- In Thanksgiving: Lydia
- for blessings, protection and good health of the Pe Family
- for the personal intentions of Mary Wong.
- for the continued recovery of Mike Torres.
- for the speedy recovery of Annika.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Elvito Pascual.� Eternal
rest grant unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he
all the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Victoria Serrato.� Eternal
rest grant unto her and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she
all the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Eduardo Gochinghai
- Prayer Intention: Teofilo & Betty G. Ang & Family
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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