Sunday, January 8, 2012

Epiphany observed

In the United States today, that is, the second Sunday after Christmas, we liturgically observe Epiphany. Tomorrow, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, brings the liturgical season of Christmas to an end. While it is all a bit confusing, it is even more important to enjoy and celebrate these days at Church and in our homes, allowing ourselves once again to be struck by the Incarnation of the Father's Only Begotten Son, who for us and our salvation was conceived by the Holy Spirit and incarnate of the Blessed Virgin.

Epiphany, Dom Prosper Gueranger, 1870

The three kings who come to adore and worship the new born babe in the manger were Gentiles. Hence, they are indicative of Jesus' universal lordship and sign the in Him God fulfilled the promise He made to Abraham that through Abraham's descendants all the nations and peoples of the earth of would be blessed. It is in and through Christ, then, that God's covenant is extended to all. For this we are grateful, like the magi. Traditionally, the gifts of the magi have been taken as having spiritual and symbolic meaning- gold as a symbol of kingship, frankincense (used as incense) a symbol of deity, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death.

So, today let's bring Christ our very best gift, which a humble and contrite, but joyful, heart.

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