When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
If one phenomenon marks our modern world, it’s instant communication. The message you’re listening to is just one way we interact at the speed of light.
I sat at a computer to write this short reflection, and then someone took it—via the Internet—to edit and prepare so that it might be heard on our website or over the radio waves. If you wish you could download the very text I originally typed. I still marvel at all the ways we can communicate today.
Today’s feast of the Epiphany of the Lord is a feast that celebrates communication. The Gospel we read today portrays Jesus—the Word Made Flesh—revealed to the nations as the wise men arrive to pay him homage. Whatever the historical facts behind the story, the message of faith is that God is reaching out to us, communicating to us the Word Made Flesh. That’s communication that has transformed human history.
God’s revelation in Jesus has a power surpassing all our modern technological “miracles” because it speaks to our hearts. Are we listening? Are we open to the Word?
Let’s become modern channels of God’s communication to the world in this new year using our gifts—whatever they may be—to pass on the message of the good news, that love is born in our midst.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• In the first reading (Isaiah 60: 1-6), Isaiah envisions Jerusalem as the light of the world that will draw all peoples to God. What sort of light is Isaiah talking about? What kind of darkness is there in the world today?
• St. Paul says, in the second reading (Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6), that the apostles and prophets learned the “mystery” the Holy Spirit revealed. What is that mystery?
What difference does it make for us?
• This week's Gospel talks about the magi, who were sent by Herod to find Jesus. Who are these magi? They are not kings, even though we sing the song “We Three Kings of Orient Are.” What is the connection to a star? Why did they follow the direction of the star?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• If your family has a manger scene set up, move the figures of the three wise men into the manger near Jesus' crib, just as we hear about in this week's Gospel.
• The star of Bethlehem plays a big part in this week's Gospel story. Go outside and take a look up at the sky and the stars. You might even want to look up some of the stars so you can try to find and identify each of them. If you can't make it outside, find a book or information online about stars.