January 5, 2014: Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
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. Matthew 2:1-12
A special star led the magi from the east to where Jesus was born, bringing treasures to the family. Mary and Joseph had so little when Jesus was born. Yet, Providence prevailed in the gifts that the magi brought, in the form of gold, frankincense and myrrh, providing everything that they needed to flee to Egypt, and sustain them once they arrived. Herod thought of himself as “King of the Jews” so when he heard the magi refer to baby Jesus in this way, he felt threatened and sought to find him, asking where the “Christ” was to be born. Herod himself feared the true prophecy of Jesus.
For this new year, where is God’s star leading us? What provisions has God already made for us, for this journey? How can we be attentive to God’s direction in our lives? By doing those things that support any relationship – having a listening ear (prayer), spending time with God’s people and presence (Eucharistic Liturgy) and acting in faith (serving God’s people in the name of the Gospel).
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