Sunday 8 January 2023

About Today Readings

Epiphany

Isaiah 60:1-6. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you – Psalm 71(72):1-2, 7-8, 10-13. Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6. Matthew 2:1-12.

Be mindful of the presence of Jesus

Many of us are familiar with the Christmas carol ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ and its ten lords a-leaping, seven maids-a-milking and five gold rings. However, these dozen days culminate in the Feast of The Epiphany which marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. In Roman Catholic theology, it celebrates the revelation that Jesus was the Son of God. It focuses primarily on this revelation to the kings from the ‘Orient Far’, but also on his baptism in the Jordan and at the wedding at Cana.

In today’s Gospel from Matthew, we learn of the journey of the Magi and their presentation of the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Herod is furious at the fulfilment of the Hebrew Scriptures that the Messiah would come to shepherd the people of Israel. The Magi find an alternative route home while Herod decrees that all children under two be killed – the slaughter of the innocents. Joseph is alerted by a dream and takes his small holy family to Egypt for safety. This is the refugee experience for many millions of people throughout the course of history.

As we enter the new year, let us be mindful that it is the presence of Jesus, not the presents we receive, that will touch us spiritually as we strive to live lives of faith and goodness in 2023.

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