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Gospel reflection

January 6, 2019: Epiphany of the Lord

Reading: 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.


For some of us, celebrating the Epiphany may bring back memories of traditions associated with our culture, ethnicity, family or community practices. Christmas cards and carols and even creches provide visual and auditory reminders of the event. We may feel a sense of security and comfort because our practices are predictable and the outcome certain. I was led to ponder how the events associated with the feast unfolded for the principals associated with the story.

Our Gospel passage today includes the question attributed to the Magi “Where is the newborn
king of the Jews?”. And, we read that they traveled, trusting in the star leading them until “they saw the child with Mary his mother”. Probably not the destination, setting and the king they expected. As I reflect on their question and their journey, I am challenged to ask “do I seek Jesus?

Am I willing to travel to unlikely places and people to encounter him? Will I trust in God’s Providence to lead me? Can I recognize him in others who shine forth his light?


Spend a few minutes each day this week contemplating how others have manifested the light of Christ to you and offer a prayer of thanksgiving for them. Be alert to your opportunities to manifest Christ to others through your actions.

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Linda McMahon

Originally from Philadelphia, Linda had a 25-year career as a navy nurse. She then served as a parish adult faith formation coordinator, an on-call hospital chaplain and a hospice bereavement specialist. A Providence Associate since 2007, Linda lives in San Clemente, California with her husband, Randy, and their 2 cats.

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