THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
Theme: Jesus the Star That Guides All People
First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6
Responsorial: Ps 72:1-2.7-8.10-11.12-13 (R. cf. 11)
Second Reading: Ephesians 3:2-3a.5-6
Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12
The Magi were not kings. They were people well-known in olden times capable of interpreting dreams, and of foreseeing the future by looking at the stars and observing the flight of birds.
Did the Magi really see a star or a comet? The Magi saw the star mentioned in Scripture and not a physical body. Matthew and his readers were familiar with all of this. Putting before us the Magi from the Orient who have seen the star, the evangelist is telling us that the long-awaited deliverer of the house of Jacob has arrived. Jesus is the star.
Matthew sees the episode of the Magi as the fulfilment of the prophecy of Balaam found in the book of Numbers. Led by the light of the Messiah, the pagan people of the earth (represented by the Magi) moved towards Jerusalem to present their gifts: gold, incense and myrrh. Should we remove the comets and stars from our cribs? Not at all! Look at that star, point it out to your children, but tell them that the real star is Jesus, he is the light that illumines all people.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: Jesus Divine Master, be our light today and always. May we never lose sight of you regardless of the darkness that surrounds us at times. May our gaze always be on You, our light and joy. Amen.
[Celebrating the Word Year C] by Fernando Armellini. Paulines Publications Africa