Sunday, January 7, 2018

January 7 - The Epiphany of the Lord

The Epiphany of the Lord – January 7, 2018

I –The glory of the Lord shine upon you.
R –Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
II – Now it has been revealed that the Gentiles are coheirs of the promise.
A – We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.
G –We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.

+ Today we celebrate the arrival of the Magi, bearing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. This presentation of gifts to the Christ Child is an obvious reference to the gift-giving nature of this Season of the year. Just as the gifts we give, these gifts were not arbitrary, something they picked up on their way out the door; they were carefully chosen and prophetic in origin and nature: gold for Christ the King, who came from obvious royal lineage; frankincense, for Christ the Priest, who would offer his life on the altar of the Cross; and myrrh, (an embalming ointment) that signified the death of Christ the Savior of the World.

These three Kings, these three Wise Men, these three Magi followed the Star of Bethlehem to find him resting in the arms of his adoring mother, Mary; and guarded by his foster-father, Joseph. And what they found was that the Light that was the Child shone brighter than any star, and they message they got was that this Child would illumine the entire world from that moment on: not just the insular surroundings of Bethlehem, but the entire world: this Child is indeed the Desire of the Nations: all of them: he is Light of all Nations, and the glory of His people Israel: he has come to change nothing, he has come to change everything.

What a magnificent feast this is, both in its revelation of Christ as the one true, awaited Messiah; but as Savior for any in the whole world who would simply believe in Him, and commit themselves to living their whole lives long like they did believe in Him, following his words and ways, as members of his Body, as members of his Church.

The task henceforth for his own people would be to accept him, and believe; for everyone else: the entire Gentile (non-Jewish) world, it would be in gradual stages to get to know about him, by first hearing about him, listening to preaching about him, and then by allowing themselves to be drawn into the life of his Body, the life of his Church, where he and his Father, eventually wants all to be. This would be a long process because the darkness of the human mind is not only very dark, but deceptively so: it tells so many that there is no other way, and that “false lights” are the best hope, as a poor substitute for what hearts deeply long for.

This, of course, is not true; there is another way, a way of Light and Blessed Assurance; a way of truth, and a way of peace. It just takes an initial  “leap of faith” – which itself is God’s gift: we really don’t have to do anything at all, except use our precious gift of free-will to acknowledge its Creator, its Sustainer and its Redeemer.

Lord, every nation on earth will adore you; let our nation soon be among the first to make significant inroads in realizing this prophecy; let the people of our land be among the first to truly love and serve God as he would be loved and served, if only by following the guiding star of the perfect natural law that is within every human heart!

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