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.
UNDERSTAND | 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 Web site 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.
DISCUSS | By Father Dan Kroger, OFM
In the first reading (Isaiah 60:1-6), what image stands out in Isaiah’s description of what will occur in the Jerusalem?
Will Jerusalem draw people from “the nations” who want to walk in the light of Jerusalem?
Isaiah says the “wealth of nations will be brought to Jerusalem.” Can you name a couple gifts?
In this week’s second reading (Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6), how does Paul describe the great gift that has now been revealed by the Spirit?
What is the new revelation he is talking about?
The Gospel reading (Matthew 2:1-12) says that “magi from the east” arrived in Jerusalem. What were they asking about? What was the sign that they had seen? What were they following?
How did King Herod react? What did he do?
What gifts did the magi bring for the newborn king?
Did the magi return to Jerusalem to tell King Herod what they found? Why or why not?
Go outside and look up at the stars. See if you can identify some of them, such as the North star.
Ask your parents to share the story of your birth with you, such as where you were born.