Sunday, January 4, 2015

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. - Sunday, January 4, 2015 with Reflection

1ST READING - Isaiah 60:1-6
Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you: your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses. 5Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you. 6Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; all from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the Lord.

P S A L M - Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
R: Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king’s son; he shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment. (R) Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more. Mayhe rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. (R) 10 The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts; the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute. 11 All kings shall pay him homage, all nations shall serve him. (R) 12 For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. 13 He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save. (R)

2ND READING - Ephesians 3: 2-3, 5-6
Brothers and sisters: You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit, namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation. It was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.
Matthew 2:1-12
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, 2saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.” Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 11 and on enteringthe house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.



 I don’t eat often in fast-food joints. I am not finicky about food but I am admittedly a health buff. My stomach cannot tolerate oily fried foods. In one of our trips to Eastern Samar after the devastation caused by super typhoon Yolanda, my companions and I had no choice but to eat in a famous Philippine fast-food chain in Catbalogan City. There was no other table available except the one near the floor-to-ceiling glass window, right next to the busy street.

       As we ate, three boys stared at us from outside the window. I felt uncomfortable. I rushed through my meal and bought a few extra meals “to go.” I went out and gave the three boys their “happy meals.” I saw a marked change in their countenance. As they watched us eat, there was a certain wistful sadness in their eyes, marked by intense longing. As they received their food, those eyes grew radiant with joy. They liked what they saw and they were obviously thrilled to get what I was giving them.

       It was all in the eyes — the joy, the gratitude, the radiance! But that was not all. As we went back to board the vehicle that was taking us farther to Eastern Samar, one of them came back to say, “Thank you.”

       And then it was my turn to grow radiant with surprise. One of my earliest recollections of being so pleasantly surprised was when I got a toy drum set. I don’t remember how old I was then, but I do remember the feeling. Psychologists speak of “oceanic” feelings that were probably close to what I felt then. “Oceanic” would be an understatement to describe the radiant joy Isaiah felt as he waxed poetic while describing the glorious splendor associated with the coming of the promised Messiah.

       I compare myself and the world to those three kids looking wistfully, maybe even sadly, at the good things that seem beyond our reach right now. Heaven seemed far beyond our reach, until Christ came. Now, we are radiant at what we see! Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTION: Recall the times when you had your “oceanic” feelings. What made you feel that way?

Dear Jesus, thank You for coming into my life. Now, I can see life and the world with joy and hope that, no matter how burdensome life can be sometimes, You are with me.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious, pray for us.

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