READINGS for 2009-01-04

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



Solemnity Of the Epiphany of the Lord
Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. – Isaiah 60:1
God is the author of magnificent events. Imagine this: the moon rising on the mountainous horizon, its rays touching the still waters of a lake glistening a silvery reflection. This scene is more than postcard beauty but there it was before me as I sat on a couch with my sister-in-law, Jho, by a terrace overlooking Laguna de Bay.
We had been working hard all day sprucing our new home for the house blessing. She had taken a leave from the office just to help in the arduous chores that I couldn’t have finished without her. I was so blessed by her assistance and show of care.
As we both rested and enjoyed the silvery lunar reflection on the lake, I could not help but express my thankfulness to her. But afterwards, my gratitude turned to God for His display of glory in my life — our new home, relatives who care and a display of shining splendor to end my day. Donna España
When you see God’s glory in His beautiful creation, do you thank Him enough?
Father, You shine Your glory on me. May I always remember that all honor and glory belong to You alone.


The world today is becoming more and more hostile to religious belief as materialism and secularism take their hold. This means that the world is in ever greater need of men and women who will be willing to live and proclaim the truth of the Gospel whether the message is welcome or not! This is what it was like for the apostles and so many of the great evangelists the Church has known. Are we up to the task? I hope so, because if not, the world and humanity in general is in for a very bleak time indeed!
Isaiah 60:1-6
1 Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. 3 Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. 4 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. 5 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. 6 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.
Psalm 72:1-2. 7-8. 10-11. 12-13
R: Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
1 O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king’s son; 2 he shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment. (R) 7 Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more. 8 May he 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 man 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)
It is our job — and our privilege — to reveal to the nations the saving power and grace of God. It is our responsibility to take up the Gospel message and discover new ways of awakening it in the hearts and minds of the people without compromising its fundamental truth. The advertising world does a great job at promoting secularism and materialism — are we up to the task of combating their message with the message of eternal life?
Ephesians 3:2-3a. 5-6
2 Brothers and sisters: You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit, 3 namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation. 5 It was not made known to people beings in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, 6 that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
The kings came from a long way to visit the child Jesus. This demonstrates a level of commitment that we need to emulate if we are going to be successful in revealing the truth of the Gospel to our world. Let us all pray for the grace to live the Christian life to the full and then for the courage to share what we have received with others. Let us pray for the grace to be the lights of truth shining in the midst of a world where so often darkness and untruth reign.
Matthew 2:1-12
1 When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: 6 ‘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.’ ” 7 Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. 8 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.” 9 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 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. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
my reflections
think:It is our job — and our privilege — to reveal to the nations the saving power and grace of God.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
My weekly time with God
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week


JeSuS: our Power Beyond all magic
As I was switching through the local TV channels a few days before the celebration of the Chinese New Year, all the morning talk shows featured renowned “feng shui” masters. Each one tried to to attract viewers and TV hosts with their fearless forecasts for the coming year and with their confident prescriptions about lucky charms that were supposed to be a “must” for the year. Then I remembered the quotation from the Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner printed in one of the Christmas greeting cards a Jesuit friend gave me. Its messages goes something like this: We have the “Name of Jesus” over our doors as we cross from one year to another. The “Name of Jesus” is enough for us and should give us confidence as we face another year.
This Sunday, our last big feast for Christmas before we cross over to the grind of the ordinary times, underlines precisely the “Epiphany” or the “Manifestation of the Lordship of Jesus to All.” The Gospel tells us how the chief priests and the scholars among the Jews studied the coming of the Messiah as the focal point of the prophetic utterances. The Gospel likewise narrates how pagan astrologers and their study of the planets and stars in relation to human affairs pointed them to Jesus in Bethlehem. Somebody gave me a classic picture of the “Adoration of the Magis.” It shows a procession of weird-looking, multiracial sages prostrating and leaving their gifts at the feet of Jesus who is held by the Blessed Mother. This picture reminds me that all human studies and all wisdom on divinity and spirituality should lead us to Jesus who is Wisdom the Word Incarnate.
So many sages, so many wisdom books written, so many philosophies, but one fact remains: After 2,000 years, the Bible is still the best-selling book of all times. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP
Reflection Question:
Retrace your journey to Jesus. How did you come to recognize Him as your “Alpha and Omega?” What great learning and realization have you had with Jesus as “guru?” Enthrone a meaningful picture of Jesus in your private room as a manifestation of your allegiance in Him.
Lord Jesus, may we learn to recognize that You alone have the power to transform our lives from here to there, from a life of mediocrity to a full life in You.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us.

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