The Third Week
SOLEMNITY of EPHIPHANY
8 January 2017
“Lord, open my lips,and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. …
There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with punishment,
and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. 1 John 4
“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”
He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were (completely) astounded.
They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened. Mark 6
How often fear takes away our ability to love!
But, love drives out fear.
It appears that the key is to “understand the incident of the loaves.”
If Jesus has power, then it is foolish for us to fear.
If we won’t let Jesus have power in our lives,
then our hearts are still hardened.
Let us surrender our hearts to the Lord,
that we might let him love us
and take away all our fears,
that we might love more courageously, more completely.
Lord.give me the joy of lasting peace
and fill my heart with so much love
that there is no more room for the worry and dread.
Teach me too, to follow Your Star and thus to become a shining star in the world.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Thought for the Day – Epiphany
“These men who set out towards the unknown were, in any event, men with a restless heart. Men driven by a restless quest for God and the salvation of the world. They were filled with expectation, not satisfied with their secure income and their respectable place in society. They were looking for something greater. They were no doubt learned men, quite knowledgeable about the heavens and probably possessed of a fine philosophical formation. But they desired more than simply knowledge about things. They wanted above all else to know what is essential. They wanted to know how we succeed in being human. And therefore they wanted to know if God exists and where and how he exists. Whether he is concerned about us and how we can encounter him. Nor did they want just to know. They wanted to understand the truth about ourselves and about God and the world. Their outward pilgrimage was an expression of their inward journey, the inner pilgrimage of their hearts. They were men who sought God and were ultimately on the way towards him. They were seekers after God.
The Wise Men followed the star and thus came to Jesus, to the great Light which enlightens everyone coming into this world (cf. Jn 1:9). As pilgrims of faith, the Wise Men themselves became stars shining in the firmament of history and they show us the way. The saints are God’s true constellations, which light up the nights of this world, serving as our guides. Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Philippians, told his faithful that they must shine like stars in the world (cf. 2:15).”
Extract from the HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI – Vatican Basilica
Sunday, 6 January 2013
One Minute Reflection – 8 January
…..and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. …………..Mt 2:11
REFLECTION – If we approach with faith, we too will see Jesus….; for the Eucharistic table takes the place of the crib.
Here the Body of the Lord is present, wrapped not in swaddling clothes but in the rays of the Holy Spirit……………..St John Chrysostum
PRAYER – Lord, God, teach me to see the living presence of Your Divine Son in the Eucharist. Make my faith so vivid that I will gladly come to encounter Jesus in every Mass.
Holy Christ Child, intercede for us, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 8 January EPIPHANY
may Your light shine our way,
as once it guided the steps of the Magi:
that we too may be led into Your presence
and worship You,
the Child of Mary,
Mother of God,
the Word of the Father,
the King of nations,
the Saviour of mankind;
in union with Your heavenly Father
and the Holy Spirit, You are One God
forever and ever, amen.
Blessing of a Home at Epiphany
Priest: Peace be to this house.
All: And to all who live here.
Priest: Bless, O Lord, Almighty God,
this home, that in it there may be health,
chastity, strength of victory, humility,
goodness, and industry,
a fullness of law and the action of graces
through God the Father and the Son
and the Holy Spirit and that this blessing
may remain on this home
and on those who frequent it.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen..
After the blessing,
the initials of the Magi
(traditional names: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar)
are written with chalk over the main door way of the house, like this:
20 + C + M + B + 17
(the + is a cross; the “17” stands for 2017;
change the year accordingly).
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Epiphany. “The Lord and ruler is coming; kingship is his, and government and power.” With these words the Church proclaims that today’s feast brings to a perfect fulfillment all the purposes of Advent. Epiphany, therefore, marks the liturgical zenith of the Advent-Christmas season. — Pius Parsch
The Solemnity of the Epiphany is celebrated either on January 6 or, according to the decision of the episcopal conference, on the Sunday between January 2 and January 8. The young Messiah is revealed as the light of the nations. Yet, as the antiphon for the Magnificat at Second Vespers reminds us, three mysteries are encompassed in this solemnity: the adoration of the Christ Child by the Magi, the Baptism of Christ and the wedding feast at Cana. Extra candles and/or lamps may be placed around the sanctuary and in other parts of the church to honor Christ revealed as the Light of the Gentiles (Ceremonial of Bishops). It is customary to replace the images of the shepherds at the crib with the three Magi and their gifts. — Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, Msgr. Peter J. Elliott, Ignatius Press.
The feast of the Epiphany, which was kept in the East and in certain Western Churches before being observed in Rome, seems to have been originally a feast of the nativity; January 6, for those churches where it was kept, was the equivalent of Christmas (December 25) in the Roman Church. The feast was introduced at Rome in the second half of the sixth century and became the complement and, so to say, the crown of the Christmas festival.
Epiphany means manifestation. What the Church celebrates today is the manifestation of our Lord to the whole world; after being made known to the shepherds of Bethlehem He is revealed to the Magi who have come from the East to adore Him. Christian tradition has ever seen in the Magi the first fruits of the Gentiles; they lead in their wake all the peoples of the earth and thus the Epiphany is an affirmation of universal salvation. St. Leo brings out this point admirably in a sermon, read at Matins, in which he shows in the adoration of the Magi the beginnings of Christian faith, the time when the great mass of the heathen sets off to follow the star which summons it to seek its Saviour.
Traditions for the Solemnity of the Lord’s Epiphany
Many traditions and genuine manifestations of popular piety have been developed in relation to the Solemnity of the Lord’s Epiphany, which is of ancient origin and rich in spiritual content. Among such forms of popular piety, mention may be made of:
- the solemn proclamation of Easter and the principal dominical feasts; its revival in many places would be opportune since it served to make the connection between the Epiphany and Easter, and orientate all feasts towards the greatest Christian solemnity;
- the exchange of “Epiphany gifts”, which derives from the gifts offered to Jesus by the three kings (cf. Mt 2,11) and more radically from the gift made to mankind by God in the birth of Emmanuel amongst us (cf. Is 7, 14; 9, 16; Mt 1, 23). It is important, however, to ensure that the exchange of gifts on the solemnity of the Epiphany retain a Christian character, indicating that its meaning is evangelical: hence the gifts offered should be a genuine expression of popular piety and free from extravagance, luxury, and waste, all of which are extraneous to the Christian origins of this practice;
- the blessing of homes, on whose lintels are inscribed the Cross of salvation, together with the indication of the year and the initials of the three wise men (C+M+B), which can also be interpreted to mean Christus Mansionem Benedicat, written in blessed chalk; this custom, often accompanied by processions of children accompanied by their parents, expresses the blessing of Christ through the intercession of the three wise men and is an occasion for gathering offerings for charitable and missionary purposes;
- initiatives in solidarity with those who come from afar; whether Christian or not, popular piety has encouraged a sense of solidarity and openness;
assistance to the work of evangelisation; the strong missionary character of the Epiphany has been well understood by popular piety and many initiatives in support of the missions flourish on 6 January, especially the “Missionary work of the Holy Child”, promoted by the Apostolic See;
- the assignation of Patrons; in many religious communities and confraternities, patron saints are assigned to the members for the coming year.
— Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy
SOLEMNITY of the Epiphany of the Lord
St Abo of Tblisi
St Albert of Cashel
St Apollinaris the Apologist
St Athelm of Canterbury
St Atticus of Constantinople
St Carterius of Caesarea
Bl Edward Waterson
St Ergnad of Ulster
St Erhard of Regensburg
St Eugenian of Autun
Bl Eurosia Fabris
St Garibaldus of Regensburg
St Gudule of Brussels
St Julian of Beauvais
St Lawrence Giustiniani
St Lucian of Beauvais
St Maximian of Beauvais
St Maximus of Pavia
Bl Nathalan of Aberdeen
St Patiens of Metz
St Pega of Peakirk
St Severinus of Noricum
St Theophilus the Martyr
St Wulsin of Sherborne
Martyrs of Greece – 9 saints
Martyrs of Terni – 4 saints