Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Tribulation Times


January 6, 2008    

(Mat 2:11) And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him: and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Nadine: Dear Jesus, as You led the Three Kings to You by the light of a star, please draw us ever closer to You by the light of Faith. Help us to desire You as ardently as they did. Give us the grace to overcome all the obstacles that keep us far from You. May we, like them, have something to give You when we appear before You. Mary, Our Mother, help us to know Your Son. Amen.


The Epiphany is the feast of the manifestation of the majesty and divinity of the newborn Savior. As early as the third century, the Eastern Church, in celebrating the birth of the Redeemer, viewed it primarily as the manifestation of God to man. Hence, the name Epiphany, which means manifestation. Toward the end of the fourth century, as the feast gradually came to be known and celebrated in the West, the adoration of the Christ Child by the Magi or Wise Men was stressed.

In today's celebration, the light that appeared on Christmas extends its rays – it is the light of God's Epiphany. It is no longer only the shepherds of Bethlehem who see and follow it, it is also the Magi, who came to Jerusalem from the East to adore the newborn King (Matthew 2:1-12). The same light which led the shepherds and the Magi to the stable in Bethlehem now shines brightly for all men and women who long to meet God.

Various interpretations have been given for the gifts which the Magi offered the Christ Child. The Church teaches us that the gold represents kingly power, incense the great High Priest, and myrrh the burial of the Lord. Thus, the Wise Men offering their gifts to Christ depicts Christ's three-fold character of King, High Priest, and Man. St. Gregory, in his reflections, looks at the Magi's gifts from the viewpoint of the givers. He invites us to see in the gold, the quest for wisdom; in the incense, the power of prayer; and in the myrrh, the mortification of the flesh.

To fully understand the Feast of Epiphany, it will have to be viewed from two aspects: That of God who manifested Himself to man, and that of man, exemplified by the Magi, who responded with wholehearted faith and love. As we join the Magi in offering our gifts to the newborn King, we realize that Jesus is the true gift, God's gift to the world. He is the One we must receive, in order to bring Him, in turn, to everyone we will meet in our life journey.

Today, the world has greater need than ever to experience the divine goodness, to feel God's love for every person. People need to hear the message of light and hope and give glory to the Father. With joy, we ask the Lord of time, God from God, Light from Light, to make His star, the Epiphany star, continually shine in our hearts.

Happy Three Kings!

EPIPHANY RESOURCE: T.S. Eliot and W.B. Yeats poems about the Three Kings

EASTERN PERSPECTIVE: The Feast of Epiphany

CHURCHYEAR.NET: Epiphany History, Information, Prayers, Resources, Traditions, & More

POPE BENEDICT XVI: "May the Lord bless all those— they are many!—who work daily in the service of the new generations, helping them to be the protagonists of their future. In addition, the World Day of Missionary Childhood, which is celebrated on the feast of the Epiphany, is an opportune occasion to show how children and young people can play an important role in the spreading of the Gospel and in the works of solidarity towards their peers most in need.  May the Lord reward them!"

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 13- "On despondency"

4. Community life is opposed to despondency. But she is a constant companion of the hermit. She will never leave him till his death, and wrestles with him daily till his end. Seeing an anchorite's cell, she smiles, and creeps up and camps near by.   

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