Epiphany (Solemnity) Sunday: Is 60:1-6, Eph 3:2-3,5-6, Mt 2:1-12
The Gospel this weekend is this:
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, 2 saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage."
3 When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and allJerusalem with him. 4 Assembling
all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: 6 '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.'" 7 Then Herod called the magi secretly and
ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance. 8 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." 9 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. 10 They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 11 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. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
The first reading is this:
Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; But upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. 3 Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. 4 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. 5 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. 6 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.
The second reading is this:
Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6
I suppose, you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for your benefit, 3 (namely, that) the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly earlier… 5 which was not made known to human beings in former generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, 6 that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
This weekend we celebrate the coming of the Magi (the three Wise Men) to Bethlehem with gifts for the infant Jesus, and symbolizing the manifestation of Jesus to the whole world. The word Epiphany means ‘manfestation’. It’s actually very much a ‘missionary’ and ‘ecumenical’ Sunday. The celebration first began in the fourth century when the Church began to give importance to evangelization of foreign peoples.
Us missionaries don't give gold, frankincense or myrrh today, but we try to give our whole selves in our vocations. And we don't give as subjects obeying their mundane king or employees fulfilling a list of rules, but rather as true loving friends with a smile in our hearts.
It is the 12th day after Christmas, and marks the end of the Christmas festivities (Feast of Baptism will be next Sunday).
In many countries the night before Epiphany, called Twelfth Night or 'Kings', is marked by the giving of gifts. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the festival celebrated on this day is known as the theophany and commemorates the baptism of Jesus. Some Orthodox churches use an older calendar and celebrate Epiphany on 18 Jan.
The three kings that come to see the newborn inBethlehem represent to me how the whole human family seeks love. It needs Christ. They may be nearby or far away - rich or poor - friend or stranger. Today calls us to be people who welcome arrivals but even beyond that, people who go out of their way to meet and invite others. Invite not as strangers but as family. Do people who meet you really feel they're meeting a brother or a sister? The modern western world has it's cities with 'Chinatowns', ghettoes, streets of X and streets of Y, and we can end up drawing divisions between people in our own towns or workplaces. The visit of the Magi speaks to me of how we all go together - and arrive together!
They bring gold, frankincense and myrrh. That represents what God deserves from all of us. Gold represents the riches of the world. When incense is burnt, a pleasant smoke rises up representing mankind's prayers rising to God and coming from humble, grateful, loving hearts. Myrrh was an ointment put on dead bodies before burial and represents how this newborn inBethlehem was eventually going to completely change the nature of death. The marvel is how the minor little gifts that man can give to God, are returned as major gifts of God to man: He makes us free of wealth and thereby He makes us really rich. He communicates so much to us while we simply give what we can - which is minute in comparison! The three kings of orient symbolize the wealth that the world could offer, but that's miniscule compared to what the King of Creation offers us. In a dark world, there's a bright star to follow. What we need in the modern world is a pair of glasses to see! In addition we're all called to be part of that 'star' to guide mankind to the perfect unfailing light. 'See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples' (Is 60:2). There's a need. Does your life guide people to Love? Isaiah begins today with the call: 'rise up in splendor'! Mary shows the way. Like the moon, she isn't the source of light, but she reflects the sun. The Magi were actualy people that studied astronomy in the ancient world. There's a 'Sun which rises from on high'! The Old Terstament actually has this: ‘Balaam gave voice to his oracle… 17 I see him, though not now… a star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise fromIsrael.’ (Num 24:15-17). The 'wise men' who are truly wise, prostrate themselves and do him homage (Mt 2:11).
So let’s offer Him our efforts to form a truly ‘catholic’ Church (‘universal’). And it’s only Him that can do it through us, so let’s make the effort to open our eyes to the ‘star’ in this century… to open to the faith and to seek Christ
Este Domingo es la Solemnidad del Epifanía: Is 60:1-6. Efesios 3:2-3, 5-6. Mat 2:1-12.
Este domingo celebramos la venida de los tres Reyes Magos a Belén con regalos para el niño Jesús, simbolizando la manifestación de Jesús al mundo entero. De hecho, es un Domingo muy ‘misionero’.
* Celeb began c4 when Church began give importance to evangelization of foreign peoples.
La palabra Epifanía significa ‘manifestación’.
Es el 12º día después de Navidad, y marca el fin de las festividades Navideñas (la fiesta del Bautismo será el siguiente Domingo).
En algunos países la noche del día anterior del Epifanía, llamada Noche Duodécima o noche ‘de los Reyes’, es cuando se da regalos. En la Iglesia Ortodoxa del Este, el festival celebrado se llama la teofanía y es un con-memorización del bautismo de Jesús. Algunas Iglesias Ortodoxas san un calendario más antiguo y celebran el Epifanía el 18 de Enero.
Los tres reyes que vienen para ver el nuevo-nacido en Belén, representan para mí como la familia humana entera busca al amor. Necesita a Cristo. Puede ser que estén cercanos o de lejos – ricos o pobres – amigos o extraños. Dios nos llama hoy a ser personas que acogen al recién llegado y más, que salen de sí para encontrar e invitar a los demás. Invita no como extranjeros sino como familia nuestra. ¿Es que la gente que te encuentran siente que están encontrando un hermano o una hermana? El mundo occidental de hoy tiene sus barrios de X y de Y y podemos acabar construyendo muros entre la gente de nuestros pueblos oficinas o almacenes. La visita de los Reyes Magos nos habla de cómo vamos todos juntos – y llegaremos todos juntos.
Ellos traen oro, incienso y mira. Aquello representa lo que Dios merece de nosotros. El oro representa las riquezas del mundo. Cuando se chema incienso, el humo que sube con buen olor representa la oración de corazones humildes, agradecidos, amorosos subiendo hacia Dios. Mira era una pomada usada para ungir cuerpos muertos antes del entierro y representa como el recién nacido en Belén iba a cambiar totalmente el sentido de la muerte. La maravilla es como los pequeños regalos que el hombre puede dar a Dios están devueltos por los regalos tremendos de Dios a nosotros: nos lleva a ser libres de riquezas y ¡así acabamos siendo realmente ricos! Los tres reyes Magos representan las riquezas que el mundo podría dar a Dios, pero aquello es pequeñísimo comparado a lo que el Rey de reyes nos ofrece a nosotros. ¿Lo tomarás? – esto es el regalo que Él más anhela. En un mundo oscuro, hay una estrella para seguir. ¡Lo que necesitamos en el mundo moderno son gafas para verlo! Y aún más, estamos llamados todos a formar parte de aquella 'estrella' para guiar a la humanidad a la luz perfecta que no acabará nunca. '¡Mira! El mundo está oscuro con muchos nubes' (Is 60:2). Hay necesidad. ¿Es que tu vida guía a la gente hacia el Amor? The Magi were actualy people that studied astronomy in the ancient world. Isaías empieza hoy con la llamada: '¡Levántate en esplendor!’ María enseña el camino. Como la luna, ella no alumbra personalmente sino refleja la luz. Y hay un sol que 'nace de lo alto'. De hecho el Antiguo Testamento tiene esto: ‘Balaam proclamó su oráculo… 17 Le veo, aunque no ahora… un estrella avanzará de Jacob, y un bastón se levantar de Israel’ (Num 24:15-17). Los reyes magos que son realmente sabios, se postran y le rinden homenaje (Mat 2:11).
Entonces ofrécele a Cristo nuestros esfuerzos para formar una Iglesia realmente ‘católica’ (‘universal’). Y es solo Él que lo puede hacer a través de nosotros, entonces pongamos el esfuerzo para ver abrir nuestros ojos a ‘la estrella’ en este siglo… para abrir a la fe y para buscarle a Cristo. .......... Dara.
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