Archive for January 5, 2019

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 5, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Sunday Reflections

A King to Behold: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Readings:

Isaiah 60:1–6
Psalm 72:1–2, 7–8, 10–11, 12–13
Ephesians 3:2–3, 5–6
Matthew 2:1–12

An “epiphany” is an appearance. In today’s readings, with their rising stars, splendorous lights, and mysteries revealed, the face of the child born on Christmas day appears.

Herod, in today’s Gospel, asks the chief priests and scribes where the Messiah is to be born. The answer Matthew puts on their lips says much more, combining two strands of Old Testament promise—one revealing the Messiah to be from the line of David (see 2 Samuel 2:5), the other predicting “a ruler of Israel” who will “shepherd his flock” and whose “greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth” (see Micah 5:1–3).

Those promises of Israel’s king ruling the nations resound also in today’s Psalm. The psalm celebrates David’s son, Solomon. His kingdom, we sing, will stretch “to the ends of the earth,” and the world’s kings will pay Him homage. That’s the scene too in today’s First Reading, as nations stream from the East, bearing “gold and frankincense” for Israel’s king.

The Magi’s pilgrimage in today’s Gospel marks the fulfillment of God’s promises. The Magi, probably Persian astrologers, are following the star that Balaam predicted would rise along with the ruler’s staff over the house of Jacob (see Numbers 24:17).
Laden with gold and spices, their journey evokes those made to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba and the “kings of the earth” (see 1 Kings 10:2, 25; 2 Chronicles 9:24). Interestingly, the only other places where frankincense and myrrh are mentioned together are in songs about Solomon (see Song of Songs 3:6; 4:6, 14).

One greater than Solomon is here (see Luke 11:31). He has come to reveal that all peoples are “co-heirs” of the royal family of Israel, as today’s Epistle teaches.
His manifestation forces us to choose: will we follow the signs that lead to Him as the wise Magi did? Or will we be like those priests and scribes who let God’s words of promise become dead letters on an ancient page?

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 5, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

If you say that you love God then you must put your love for Him into action. Otherwise it is only lip service. For if the love of God reigns in your heart then your faith in Him is alive and active. You will be moved to love and to serve. And witness the glory of God in all things.

Therefore strive for Holiness in all things. Let no deceit enter your heart. If tempted to sin, ask yourself this question. Do you love the sin more or do you love God more? Is your soul more valuable or the sin?

In all things let us love and give glory to the Lord our God. Amen

First reading

1 John 3:11-21
Our love is to be something real and active

This is the message
as you heard it from the beginning: that we are to love one another; not to be like Cain, who belonged to the Evil One and cut his brother’s throat;cut his brother’s throat simply for this reason, that his own life was evil and his brother lived a good life.
You must not be surprised, brothers, when the world hates you;we have passed out of death and into life,
and of this we can be sure
because we love our brothers.
If you refuse to love, you must remain dead; to hate your brother is to be a murderer, and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life in them.
This has taught us love –
that he gave up his life for us; and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.
If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods
saw that one of his brothers was in need, but closed his heart to him,
how could the love of God be living in him?
My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active; only by this can we be certain that we are children of the truth and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence,
whatever accusations it may raise against us, because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.
My dear people, if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in God’s presence.

Gospel

John 1:43-51
You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

After Jesus had decided to leave for Galilee, he met Philip and said, ‘Follow me.’ Philip came from the same town, Bethsaida, as Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’