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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)

07 January 2024

The Epiphany of the Lord 

Reading I - Is 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.


Responsorial Psalm - Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13.

R. (cf. 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.
All kings shall pay him homage,
all nations shall serve him.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.


Reading II - Eph 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.


Alleluia - Mt 2:2

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel - Mt 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.


Isn't it strange in this Gospel that the Magi, and therefore the pagans, are able to recognize the Epiphany of Jesus, while Herod and the entire People of Israel do not see His coming? This will be confirmed even more strongly at the birth of the Lord in Bethlehem. Is it more difficult for people chosen by God to recognize, sense and accept His presence? Or maybe they were simply not interested in God, they did not care about Him until the moment when they felt threatened by Him, the moment when God "interfered" in their lives. Herod was terrified by the birth of the Messiah, and all Jerusalem with him. It literally says: "was moved", and usually what is moved was previously stocked and indifferent. Am I moved by the coming of Christ more out of love or fear? How does my heart react to the possibility of meeting my Messiah who comes to save me? Is this heart thirsty or fearful? The intention of the three Wise Men was not the best either. They sought the Messiah with the mind rather than the heart, but then, when the mind stopped and the encounter took place, their hearts were changed, while Herod's heart remained in fear and incomprehension to what had happened. All in all, Herod's heart was also changed, unfortunately in the bad sense. The hearts of the Magi burned with faith and love, and Herod's heart with anger and hatred, even striving to kill the Son of God. The wise men offered the Lord treasures, that is, something most valuable, not only in the physical sense, but also in the spiritual sense. Herod offered only contempt, closing his heart tightly to God's grace. God closed himself off to Herod, denying him a relationship that he rightly did not deserve because of his pride. Because you cannot deserve a relationship with God if your heart is filled with pride, the desire to satisfy yourself, a heart in which there is really no room for God. To meet Jesus, you have to search, but searching is not enough. To meet Him, you also need to change your heart, getting rid of pride and what is yours, what you keep only for yourself. The fact that God revealed Himself to the Magi should not surprise anyone, because He came to save all people. It should be surprising that those to whom He came as His chosen ones, who belong to Him, tremble with fear of Him, who is only goodness and love.

Father Marcin Cwierz, OSPPE

© Milosierni.com 2024


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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)  

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