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WE SAW HIS STAR AT ITS RISING AND HAVE COME TO DO HIM HOMAGE

THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

GOSPEL READING: MATTHEW 2:1-12

WE SAW HIS STAR AT ITS RISING AND HAVE COME TO DO HIM HOMAGE

 

INTRODUCTION:

The feast of the Epiphany of the Lord takes place on January 6th or on the Sunday falling closest to this date. The Greek work “epiphany” means “appearance” or “manifestation” of Christ to the whole world as represented by the Magi from the East. The Wise Men’s visit means Christ has appeared to the Gentiles (non-Jews). That means Jesus came for all nations. In the Eastern Churches, the feast is associated chiefly with the manifestation of Christ at his Baptism in the Jordan. Jesus’ baptism means his adult ministry has begun.

 

GOSPEL BACKGROUND:

Some facts about the three kings:

1. They were not three – Matthew does not indicate how many they really were. Church tradition suggested many. Later, it became three due to the report of three gifts. A later legend (6th century) named these three: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. Melchior, old white-bearded man, brings gold to symbolize Christ’s kingship. Casper, a young white man, offers frankincense to symbolize Christ’s divinity. And Balthasar, a young black man, brings myrrh, to symbolize Christ’s suffering.

       

2. They were not kings – Matthew tells us that they are Magi or astrologers. “Magi” is actually Persian in origin, and simply means a “religious leader.” They were wise and holy men, educated in philosophy, medicine, and science.

 

3) They were “from the East” – means that they were from the Gentile world. This is an important theme in Matthew’s Gospel – Jesus came for all nations. It would be natural for them to seek the newborn king in a royal palace, but they were led to look for him outside the royal city of Jerusalem.

 

Unlike the shepherds who came upon Jesus rather quickly and easily, these Wise Men made a long and difficult journey to Jesus. If we are wise, we will make a life-long journey to Jesus. 

 

The Wise Men were able to see divinity in the ordinary. They recognized Christ. God is present wherever and whenever there is love and service. God is love. These are the places of Epiphany – the manifestations of God’s presence.

 

The Wise Men came to Jerusalem inquiring: Where is the newborn king?” The wise seek the wisdom and counsel of others. The ignorant “ignore” it. When we are confused about our spiritual journey, it is wise to stop sometimes and ask for directions – seek the counsel of others.

 

The Wise Men read and studied Scripture to learn where the Messiah was to be born. Scripture is our teacher and guide, through which we learn about the Lord. The Bible is like a compass, it will always point us in the right direction.

 

The Wise Men followed the guiding star. For Matthew, the “star of Bethlehem” is a very important feature in the story. It is the “guiding light of heaven” that leads them to discover the Lord Jesus. Jesus Christ is the brightest light in our spiritual life, for he is “the way and the truth and the life.” In addition, the bright lights and guides in life are also the saints, both living and deceased. We should read more about the saints and learn from inspirational people.

 

The Wise Men offered Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold is for kings – a symbol of a king or lord. Frankincense was burnt each day in Temple – a symbol of worship. Before offering their gifts, they prostrated themselves and did him homage.” They literally were brought to their knees in humble adoration of the Christ child. Myrrh was oil used to embalm a body for burial – a symbol of sacrifice. Their worship of Christ included a symbol of sacrifice. Everyone has different gifts to offer. We can bring the gifts of our love, our prayer, our hurts and sacrifices to Christ.

 

The Wise Men took a different way home. The Epiphany story ends with this scenario, Having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.” The different route home suggests there was a change in their way of life. Having experienced Christ, their lives could not remain the same. In that same vein, when we have received Christ, we must return home “by another way.” We must take what we experience at church back to our families and friends. Like the Wise Men, we are not to be tourists but pilgrims, on our way to God.

 

CONCLUSION:

The Wise Men were overjoyed at finding the infant Jesus. Finding Christ brings real joy. This joy fills the soul and makes us glad. This joy comes from knowing all is well; God loves us; we are saved; and the future will be secure.

 

The Wise Men brought gifts and worshiped Jesus for who he was. This is the essence of true worship – honoring Christ for who he is and being willing to give him what is valuable to us. Worship God because he is the perfect, just, and almighty Creator of the universe, worthy of the best we have to give.

 


This article was published on Friday 31 December, 2010.

Back to main topic: STUDY THE WORD OF GOD
ADULTERY
THIS POOR WIDOW PUT IN MORE THAN ALL THE OTHERS
CHRIST WILL RETURN WITH GREAT POWER AND GLORY
YOU SAY I AM A KING
BASILICAS OF ST. PETER & ST. PAUL
THE KINGSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST
CHRISTMAS
YOUR REDEMPTION IS AT HAND
GOD’S PROMISES IN ADVENT
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC UNDERSTANDING OF ECUMENISM
WE NEED ADVENT!
EMMANUEL – GOD IS WITH US!
THE BLIND BOY AND HIS SIGN
EPIPHANY
WHEN JESUS HAD BEEN BAPTIZED AND WAS PRAYING, HEAVEN WAS OPENED
ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD
“WHAT SHOULD WE DO?”
GOD KNEW ME BEFORE I WAS BORN
GOD IS LOVE
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY
“THE MOTHER OF MY LORD SHOULD COME TO ME.”
THE LAST EIGHT DAYS IN THE ADVENT SEASON
HIS PARENTS FOUND JESUS SITTING IN THE MIDST OF THE TEACHERS.
MARY – “MOTHER OF GOD”
WHETHER THE BLESSED VIRGIN SHOULD BE CALLED THE MOTHER OF GOD?
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
WHETHER THE BAPTISM OF JOHN WAS FROM GOD
WHETHER IT WAS FITTING FOR CHRIST TO BE BAPTIZED WITH JOHN’S BAP
JESUS TURNS WATER TO WINE

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