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Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6 Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13 January 4, 2009
Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6
Matthew 2:1-12

Word: Stewardship of God’s grace is bringing others to Jesus.

Theme: We are stewards of God’s grace when we lead unbelievers to worship
Jesus. [Evangelization]
Promise: “…upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears his glory.” (Is


“… the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and
stopped over the place where the child was.” (Mt 2:9b)

We celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany on the first Sunday of each New Year. The word
“Epiphany” comes from the Greek word meaning “manifestation” – the appearance of
someone or something previously unknown. On this feast, we mark the manifestation of
Jesus Christ, previously unknown to us until He came into the world as our Savior. And
we praise and thank God for the gift of our faith and for the wonderful ways in which Jesus
manifests Himself to us individually and as a Community.

Brothers and sisters, we do not have to look far and wide for proofs of our Lord Jesus’
manifestation. He shows Himself to us through, and in other people; our parents who
gave us life, our brethren in and out of Community who love us, and even in our enemies
who help us realize that away from God no goodness is possible. Jesus also makes
Himself known to us through the events in our life, whether pleasant or distressing, and
through the testimonies and influence of God-sent persons.

The story of the Magi in the Gospel narration is one such ‘manifestation’, interpreted in
different and very revealing ways to demonstrate the many different reactions and varied
ways in which people respond to Jesus as Messiah and to God’s invitation to search for
and come to know Him more intimately.

The Jewish people represent a group of individuals who are called by God, but remain
indifferent. They do not go in search of Christ, because they await a different and more
‘worldly’ Messiah, or fear that in finding Him, they may compelled to change their ways,
and they are not ready to be transformed, or to give up their personal comforts and
desires. Herod represents a second group of persons, the kind who seek Christ, not to
honor Him, but to persecute Him, because He is a threat to their authority. The Magi, on
the other hand, represent disciples who accept God’s call, persevere in following the “star”
and, on finding Christ, offer the gift of themselves to Him in love and reverence.
Brothers and sisters, to which group do you belong? Are you at times apathetic like the
chief priests and scribes, who are unwilling to follow God’s will? Or, like Herod, do you at
times abuse your authority and take advantage of Community or family members for
personal gain? Or are you like the Magi who seek and find Christ, honor and pay homage
to Him with your life?

As disciples in Community, we should respond to the manifestation and coming of Christ

Jesus into the world and into our lives with humble reverence, giving ourselves in willing
service to Christ and to our fellowmen. Our life witness should be a manifestation to
others of God’s love for us and our love for Him. Like the “star at its rising” that the Magi
saw and followed, our lives should be examples that lead others, especially unbelievers,
to seek, find, and worship Christ Jesus!

Father God, forgive me for all my faults and shortcomings. Take away my indifference
and my self-centeredness. Give me eyes to see You in all the circumstances of my life,
and the discernment to seek and find You in the empty allure of this material world. Give
me hands to bring You the best that I can give, and a heart overflowing with worship for
You, my Savior. Father God, all these I ask that I may be worthy of bringing others to You
and to Your kingdom. Amen.

Suggested Personal Reflection Guide:

1. Start your Word Sharing Circle by asking yourself how earnestly you have
searched for a deeper relationship with our Lord. Is each of your day an on-going
search for Christ and how can you ‘manifest’ your love for Him and your neighbor?
2. Share with your circle members how your life is an example of your personal quest
to follow the star, that others may be encouraged to search for God and obey His
will for them.
3. End your WSC with a short prayer asking forgiveness for any shortcomings and for
the grace to be a worthy witness of God’s love for us and our love for Him.

Next Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:

January 5, 2009 (Mon): 1Jn 3:22-4:6, Ps 2:7-8, 10-12, Mt 4:12-17, 23-25
January 6, 2009 (Tue): 1Jn 4:7-10, Ps 72:1-2, 3-4, 7-8, Mk 6:34:44
January 7, 2009 (Wed): 1Jn 4:11-18, Ps. 72:1-2, 10, 12-13, Mk 6:45-52
January 8, 2009 (Thur): 1Jn 4:10-5:4, Ps 72:1-2, 14-15, Lk 4:14-22
January 9, 2009 (Fri): 1Jn 5:5-13, Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20, Lk 5:12-16
January 10, 2009 (Sat): 1Jn 5:14-21, Ps 149:1-2, 3-4, 5, 6-9, Jn 3:22-30

This Week’s Readings for Year of St. Paul:

Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians Chapters 1 – 3

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”