Saturday, January 07, 2017
EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
January 8, 2017 SUNDAY, EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
Is 60:1 - 6 / Eph 3:2- 3a; 5-6 / Mt 2:1 - 12
The Epiphany of the Lord celebrates the manifestation of the Word-made Man to the Gentiles and the whole world, represented by the Magi from the East.
FROM THE 1ST READING: Is 60:1, 4- 6
Arise, shine, for your light has come. The Glory of Yahweh rises upon you.
Lift up your eyes round about and see: they are all gathered and come to you, your sons from afar, your daughters tenderly carried. This sight will make your face radiant, your heart throbbing and full; the riches of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of the nations will come to you. A flood of camels will cover you, caravans from Midian and Ephah. Those from Sheba will come bringing with them gold and incense, singing in praise of Yahweh.
GOSPEL READING: Mt 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 those who taught the people of God his Law and asked them where the Messiah was to be born. "In the town of Bethlehem of 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 secretly called the wise men and asked them the precise time the star appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem with the instruction, "Go and get precise information about the child. And 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 worshipped 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.
After celebrating Christmas, we are invited to ponder more deeply the Epiphany of our Lord who had come as man into our world. Very often we desire and seek the manifestation of the Lord in expensive gifts and grand festivities. For many, Christmas is very much felt only when gifts are plentiful and celebrations grand.
But our Lord actually reveals and manifests himself in a very different way. To the shepherds in Bethlehem, the angel spoke of "the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." In today's Gospel reading we are told that the Messiah is to be born in the insignificant town of Bethlehem. The Lord manifests himself in ordinary events among ordinary people.
In his public life, the Lord spoke of greatness, "Whoever becomes lowly like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 18: 4) and "Let the greatest among you be the servant of all." (Mt 23: 11)
Very often we fail to recognize our Lord in his manifestations as a little Child or in lowly works of service. In his words he urges us to discover his great love for us in his lowliness and humble services, for "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life." (Jn 3: 16)
The wise men from the East recognized Jesus' greatness even as a little Child in an ordinary house. May we be like the wise men who knelt before the little Child and offered him their precious gifts.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
IN MEMORIAM (+)
CHAN CHIN SING
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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