January 8 - The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord: The Star of Wonder

January 4th, 2017

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First Reading  Isaiah 60:1-6
Jerusalem shall be a light to all nations.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,10-11,12-13
Every nation on earth shall worship the Lord.

Second Reading  Ephesians 3:2-3a,5-6
Gentiles are coheirs in the promise of Christ.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 2:1-12

 

 

In Matthew 2: 9-11, the ageless story describes a Star in the East guiding three wise men, or magi, to the place of the divine birth of Christ. According to medieval legends, the three wise men were named Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar. These three priest-kings and wisemen brought royal gifts to the divine infant: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Melchior brought a golden cup, which, according to legend, was preserved by the Blessed Virgin Mary and was the same cup used in the institution of the Holy Eucharist. Balthazar brought a gold box of frankincense. Gaspar brought a curiously chased flask of myrrh, a royal embalming oil. The gift of gold symbolizes the kingship of Christ, which represents our own true royal Self-hood and our giving of love and service as directed and commanded by that Self. The gift of frankincense symbolizes the Godhead of Christ and our own gifts of honour and reverence to our indwelling Divinity. The gift of myrrh is a prophecy of the death and burial of the earthly body of Christ, which represents our understanding and empathy for the suffering of humanity. Let us pray that just as the Magi were guided by a star we too be guided by the signs of the times to find God and worship Him.