Sunday 02 January 2022 – THE SOLEMNITY OF EPIPHANY

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.

            Then 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.

            Caravans 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.

2nd Reading: Ephesians 3:2–3a, 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.

GOSPEL: 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, saying, “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. They 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. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the 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. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

A STAR FOR ALL PEOPLE: A star shines, and if its bright enough at night, people can walk by its light. A star does not discriminate who to shine on; it illuminates all people. That is what Jesus the principle star does. A Christian is a star that gets its light from Christ. A Christian therefore, is expected to shine through own lifestyle so that people who come across this living star may not fall into sin. Seeing the star all are meant to come to Christ. Any Christian who lives a life of sin fails to be a star. He has no light of Christ and so does not help others. As God used the star to guide the Magi towards Christ, so he uses different events to guide us to Christ. In turn as Christians we are called to be bright stars guiding people to Christ through our lifestyles.

Prayer: Lord, make all Christians stars so that we may direct humanity towards you


EPIPHANY JOURNEY: There is not much historical information about the wise men and their journey. St. Matthew says they came from the East. We like to think that there were three of them. We call them Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. This anonymity and lack of historical information is a reminder that this story, this Epiphany journey, is not just the wise men’s journey; it is everyone’s journey. The truth of sacred scripture is never limited to or contained only in the past. There have been times when we each have experienced Epiphany; times when our night sky has been lit brightly, times when our minds have been illumined, times when our hearts have been enlightened. Those times have revealed to us a life and world larger than before. They have been moments that gave us the courage to travel beyond the borders and boundaries that usually circumscribe our lives. Epiphanies are those times when something calls us, moves us, to a new place and we see the face of God in a new way!