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Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

January 4, A.D. 2009

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

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

A reflection on today's Scripture:

Christmas is not really complete until the Feast of the Epiphany. It's fitting that this year it falls on the Twelfth Day of Christmas, the final day of celebration.

On the night of Christ's birth, how amazed Joseph and Mary must have been to hear the song of the angels, followed by a whole procession of shepherds from the fields. And now, some months later, they must have been just as amazed to greet these foreign visitors whom tradition names as Casper, Melchior, and Balthazar. As Joseph and Mary graciously accepted the precious gold, frankincense and myrrh which they brought as gifts, they must have realized that their Child was somehow meant for a mysterious destiny much wider than His homeland.

The word epiphany (a showing forth) has many meanings connected to the word. It suggests a burst of light, a sudden revelation. In literature, it often means a bringing together of many seemingly unrelated incidents into a breakthrough of meaning that connects all the threads together.

In the first reading today from Isaiah, we hear the prophet proclaiming to Israel that "Your light has come!" and, with even more startling news, "Nations shall walk by your light." In the fourth verse of the reading, the prophet foretells an event that was fulfilled hundreds of years later as the Magi knelt in adoration in Bethlehem. He says, "Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you." What? All nations shall come to little weak Israel?

St. Paul proclaims the same message in the second reading to the Ephesians: ". . .the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel." So the Magi had it right. By trusting in the star and obediently following its light, they will share also in the fruits of the saving grace Jesus will earn by His Passion and Death.

The Gospel narrates how the coming of the nations was nearly frustrated by the deceitful scheming of a power-hungry King Herod. From that time to the present, political, social, and even religious leaders have tried to prevent the nations from following the star and finding the rich treasures that the Prince of Peace has waiting for them. The Child who has come from the heavens with his saving truth and love will never rest until all the nations have come into His light.

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore |
email: pwhitmore29@yahoo.com

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Epiphany of the Lord

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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