Saturday, January 03, 2009



JANUARY 4, 2009

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 3:2-3, 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

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 Feast of Epiphany remains meaningful because it reminds us of the
theme of gift — God's self-donation of Godself in the person of his
Son. What is astounding and striking of this Epiphany — the
manifestation of God's graciousness, generosity, and love — is its

First, God shows Godself in the form of a baby, who may be seen as
weak, dependent, and vulnerable. God chose to be human, to be one like
us, thereby demoting God to our nature as a sign of humility,
solidarity, and unity. This act of God serves as a foreshadowing of
the preference and tendency of Jesus to be identified and in
solidarity with the weak, powerless, and outcasts of society. These
people will readily accept the salvation that Jesus lovingly offers as
they recognize their total and utter dependence on him.

Second, the place where Jesus was born was Bethlehem which was not
exactly the most famous place. It was not a center. In the Gospel
passage, a prophet claims: "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 and Israel." There seems to be an
implication here of how Jesus would somehow challenge categories of
importance and greatness. Since Jesus is the messiah, the much awaited
Savior and liberator, the expectation was that he would be born in
class and pompousness. Yet God chose to have the birth of Jesus,

Finally, the Messiah was much awaited by the Jews who placed their
hope in him to liberate them from the clutches of power of the Romans.
However, Jesus was proclaimed initially to shepherds who were outcasts
of society and the magi who were pagans. The Jews for whom the Messiah
was promised refused to accept him while the Gentiles came to him in
greater numbers. In the story, the Jewish experts, guardians of
tradition, easily identify the child's prophesied birthplace. But
their response is one of fear and duplicity. Matthew is the only
evangelist who tells the story of the magi. The wise men took a step
of faith and were drawn to the Lord. They gave him gifts to recognize
who he is and the role he plays in the lives of all believers. Gold is
the gift for the King. Jesus is the only one we can allow to direct
our lives. Frankincense is the sign of the priest. Jesus is the great
high priest who bridges the gap between God and man. Myrrh is the
perfume used to anoint the dead. Jesus is the sacrificial lamb whose
death restored life.

Matthew thus describes beautifully in a story the same truth that Paul
affirms in his letter that Jesus is for all peoples, and his mission
is universal. The wise men from the east were the Gentiles, non-Jews
like ourselves. Like the magis, we come from all over the world and we
can find Jesus and do him homage. He is the infant king of the Jews
but he is not the exclusive property of any tribe, community or
nation. Rather, he belongs to us all as we can all belong to him.

Jesus is the journey's end for all who seek the face of God, for all
who seek for meaning and purpose in our lives. He came not only for
the chosen race but for the human race. He is for all of us.

We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Chato Dizon
- Sophia Gonzalez
- Christy Chin
… In Thanksgiving: Gascon-Lomuntad families
… for the priests, laity and friends of San Jose Manggawa Parish and
Barangka Marikina
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Remberto, Estrella, Florence, Danilo, Alfredo, Gloria, Beatriz,
Filomena, Rosario
- Lilia Serrano
- Fr. Michael Kelly
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- In Memoriam (+): Francisco Soc Rodrigo
- In Memoriam (+): Gloria A. del Rosario
- Thanksgiving: Ilion de la Cruz & Family
- Thanksgiving: Joselito Ong & Family
- Wedding Anniversary: James & Gloria Yu
… for the healing and peace of all families

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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© 2008 Daily-Homily

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