Faith Daily | 6 January 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Epiphany
by the leading of a star
you manifested your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles:
mercifully grant, that we, who know you now by faith,
may after this life be led to the vision
of your glorious Godhead;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 2: 1-12
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 6‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” 7Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”
9When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Rev'd David
Today we celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord. It always falls on the twelfth day after Christmas, said to be because someone calculated that it took the wise men twelve days to get to Bethlehem.
Epiphany means a manifestation or revelation, one of those moments in life when something profound is revealed to our understanding. Albert Einstein felt that his great discoveries were epiphanies, he said “I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking”. The main passage of Holy Scripture set for Epiphany is the visit of the wise men to the Christ child in Bethlehem when He was probably about two years old. (today’s passage: Matthew 2:1-12)
The details Matthew gives us about these wise men are all that God intends for us to know, more important is what they did. They were Gentiles who travelled a long distance guided by a special star, which took them to Bethlehem where they found the baby Jesus and His mother Mary. They bowed down and worshipped Him and gave Him their most valuable gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
This visit was an Epiphany, it is an amazing thought that God speaks to the world through the actions of the wise men to reveal the great truths about the Christ child of Bethlehem. The gifts given reveal these truths that here was the one chosen to be the King of all creation, who carried in human flesh the very person of God, and whose mission was to die for the sins of the world. They were indeed precious revealing gifts. The wise men can be seen as serious seekers after this one they had heard about and were miraculously guided to find.
As we begin this new year, may we be like the wise men, serious seekers after our Lord and who focus our lives on sharing His love and grace.
There is a popular bumper bar sticker that reads “Wise people still seek Him”. Someone has better expressed it like this: “The wise seek Him, the wiser find Him, the wisest follow Him.”
FINAL PRAYER: APBA p480
who be a star led Magi to the worship of your Son:
guide the nations of the earth by your light,
that the whole world may see your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.