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Thought for the Day – 6 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Thought for the Day – 6 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord – Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

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“They saw the child with Mary his mother.   They prostrated themselves and did him homage”...Matthew 2:11

The magi find a poor young woman with a poor child wrapped in poor linen bands… and yet, on entering this cave, they feel a joy never experienced before… The divine Infant’s expression lights up, sign of the loving delight with which He welcomes them as the first conquest of His redeeming work.   Then the holy kings turn their eyes to Mary, who does not speak, remaining silent, yet her face, reflecting joy and shining with a heavenly sweetness, confirms that she welcomes them and is grateful to them for being the first to recognise her Son for who He is – their Sovereign Lord…

O Child so worthy of our love, I see You lying on the straw in this cave, so poor and despised.   Yet faith teaches me that You are my God come down from heaven for my salvation.   I acknowledge You as my Sovereign Lord and Saviour, as such I proclaim You, yet I have nothing at all to offer You.   I am without love’s gold, since I have given my love to the things of this world – I have only loved my own whim, rather than loving You, so infinitely worthy of love.   I am without prayer’s incense since I have lived wretchedly without thinking of You.   I have no myrrh of mortification since, so as not to forsake some paltry pleasures, I have so often saddened Your infinite goodness.   So what am I to offer You?   O my Jesus, I offer You my heart, soiled and naked as it is.   Take it and change it, for You have come down to us to wash our guilty hearts with Your blood and so transform us from sinners into saints.   O grant me that gold, incense and myrrh that I lack.   Grant me the gold of Your holy love;  grant me the incense that is the spirit of prayer;  grant me myrrh, the willingness and strength to deny myself in all that displeases You…

O holy Virgin, you welcomed those devout magi kings with keen affection and satisfied them.   Deign to welcome and comfort me also, I who come, following their example, to visit and offer myself to your Son.i acknowledge you as my lord and saviour - st alphonsus 6 jan 2019