Archive for January 4, 2020

Feast of the Epiphany

Posted: January 4, 2020 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

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

Readings:

Isaiah 60:1–6
Psalm 72:1–2, 7–8, 10–13
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 the scribes who let God’s words of promise become dead letters on an ancient page?

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 4, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
Tags:

We are called to live out Holy lives worthily as children of God but actually doing so is very hard. Still we must strive to do so each and every day.

Let us not dwell on sin and in constant fear of sinning, but rather in the freedom purchased for us by Christ Jesus our Lord. We therefore endeavour to deepen our relationship with Him daily through prayer and through His living Word in Holy Scriptures. Living in His presence we will lead others to Him so that they too can live life fully in His love. Amen

Let us pray one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for our Holy Father Pope Francis’s intentions….

First reading

1 John 3:7-10 ·
No-one sins who has been begotten by God

My children, do not let anyone lead you astray: to live a holy life is to be holy just as he is holy; to lead a sinful life is to belong to the devil, since the devil was a sinner from the beginning.
It was to undo all that the devil has done
that the Son of God appeared.
No one who has been begotten by God sins; because God’s seed remains inside him, he cannot sin when he has been begotten by God.

In this way we distinguish the children of God from the children of the devil:
anybody not living a holy life jand not loving his brother is no child of God’s.

Gospel

John 1:35-42
‘We have found the Messiah’

As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher – ‘where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.
One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ – which means the Christ – and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’ – meaning Rock.