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The Epiphany of the Lord

January 3rd, 2009

 

 

 

They Followed The Light

 

 

 

Reading I

Is 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.

 

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13.

 

(cf. 11)  Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

O God, with your judgment endow the king,

and with your justice, the king’s son;

He shall govern your people with justice

and your afflicted ones with judgment.

Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Justice shall flower in his days,

and profound peace, till the moon be no more.

May he rule from sea to sea,

and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;

the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.

All kings shall pay him homage,

all nations shall serve him.

Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,

and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.

He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;

the lives of the poor he shall save.

Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

 

 

Reading II

Eph 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.

 

 

Gospel

Mt 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.

 

 

 

 

Obviously it must have been dark when those wise men saw that star.  I suppose it’s possible to see a star by daylight, but then you have to follow all kinds of gadgets.  To me it makes sense that it was in the dark of the night that they saw the light.  It was in the dark of their night, for certain, that they saw that star at its rising, just as it was when they had that dream to leave by another route.  Especially, considering King Herod was up to some on good as the story says. 

 

I suppose that for many of us, it is only in the darkest moments of our lives that we are able to see the light or a star at its rising.  Doesn’t really matter is the story about those wise men is factual or not, but I really don’t think it matters because I believe that the story should say something about how we live our lives.  Notwithstanding all of their difficulties, notwithstanding the unbelievable trouble of their days, they had sufficient faith in God and humanity to pack up immediately and follow that star.  Perhaps it was not the star itself that caused them to follow it.  Perhaps it was not its beckoning tail – come, come, come – that made them follow it. 

 

Not too long ago I asked a young woman, who was down on her luck, so she said, but I would rather say just down on life, “What does faith mean to you.?”  She answered:  “It means that I believe that the Kingdom of God is possible.  It means that I am confident that this world can be changed in the direction of that Kingdom. (Sure do have a long way to go here in this country, now don’t we?)  It means that I am convinced that it is not a dream, an illusion or a figment of an overexcited religious or ethical mind.  You know what my friends, that lady was right, but even more so.  That belief, or that faith should be so firm and so strong that we are willing to work in order to help it grown, that we are ready to cooperate in its growth, and that we don’t sit on our rump waiting for God to clear the situation, despite the kind of luck we are having.  And that is not so easy to do.  It is that kind of faith that must have been the moving force when those wise people packed their luggage, kissed their wives and children good-bye, and facing the unbelief and ridicule of thief friends, set off on a journey with a destination both known and unknown at the same time.

 

Even for us so many years later, regardless of our belief, faith, and hope, that destination remains unknown.  And yet we do know.  There are hints where it all will lead us.  There are indications, signals, and signs.  And there are people who God sends into our lives that are willing to show us the way, and if we get lost (and many times we do get lost) they will lead us back to the right path.

 

In the letter that Paul wrote, he give us such a hint when he writes about a mystery, a secret he was given knowledge of.  A mystery, a secret he writes, unknown and hidden to anyone in generations past.  The mystery is that all human beings share in the same inheritance.  The secret is that we all live under the same promise.  The mystery is that in Jesus Christ, we are all parts of the same being, the same body.  We are one.  We belong together.  We are created in him.  Perhaps we should strive toward that realization and a further awareness of that fact.  Perhaps that was the reason those wise men packed up and traveled toward him, and ultimately toward themselves!  Are we packed and ready to travel?  Am I?  Are you? 

 

I pray that this message was meaningful to you, and certainly not confusing.  And I pray that God will bless you this coming week in all of your needs, knowing that they are many.  So remember dear ones, how powerful pray is.  Later.  Yours in Christ –

 

Just Me – Steve!

 

Deacon Steve

© January 3rd, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 “Open The Eyes Of My Heart”  by Don Moen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forgotten Tears



I stepped into His shining light,
So many forgotten tears ago...
Beyond the dark I would find
Serene peace that endlessly flows.


On this path I've often stumbled,
Finding only His strong hand...
With loving grace I was carried
Until able to walk once again.


Out of the darkness I did travel,
Finding only unconditional love...
This light I will always follow,
Embracing this gift from above.


For some the path is narrow,
To others it's broad and wide.
For me it's been His promise...
Sweet never-ending endless ride...


Jeffrey Paul Guest

© November, 2009

 

 

 

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