Showing posts with label Epiphany. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Epiphany. Show all posts

7 Jan 2018

The Magi, Meds and Me



It's Epiphany Sunday. It's not about the magi, wise men from the east. Not exactly. They're involved; along with King Herod, religious experts, Mary and Jesus. But they're not what this is all about.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

5 Jan 2018

'We have come to pay him homage.' Sunday Reflections, The Epiphany, Years ABC


The Adoration of the Magi, Luís Tristán de Escamilla [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Matthew 2:1-12 (NRSV, Anglicised CatholicEdition)

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
“And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.”’
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
In countries where the Epiphany is a Holyday of Obligation it is celebrated on Saturday 6 January. Otherwise it is celebrated on Sunday 7 January this year. The Vigil Mass has its own antiphons and prayers but uses the readings above.

Adoration of the Magi, Blessed Fra Angelico [Web Gallery of Art]

While based in Britain from 2000 till 2002 I was able to spend Christmas with my brother and his family in Dublin, a short flight from England, in 2000 and 2001. During the holiday in 2001 I saw a documentary on RTÉ, Ireland's national broadcasting service, about Filipino nurses in Ireland. These began to arrive in 2000, initially at the invitation of the Irish government to work in government hospitals. Very quickly there was an 'invasion' of Filipino nurses and carers, now to be found in hospitals and nursing homes in every part of the country.
Continue here.

8 Jan 2017

Epiphany Sunday



Statues1 of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar started near the clock in our living room. I took those pictures of them on Wednesday. Their trip to the nativity scene ended today, Epiphany Sunday.

We read about "magi from the east" in today's Gospel: Matthew 2:1 through 12:
"1 When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, 2 behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem,
"saying, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star 3 at its rising and have come to do him homage.'"
(Matthew 2:1-2)
"Magi" is how μάγοι, mágoi, looks in my native language. That's the Greek version of an Old Persian word that would sound something like "magus" if I tried pronouncing it.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

3 Jan 2016

Jesus, the Magi, and Me


(Our Lady of Angels, Sauk Centre, Minnesota, Saturday afternoon. (January 2, 2015))

Statues of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar started out across from the nativity scene in our parish church. They were lurking by the poinsettias during Friday's Mass — the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God — and no, Catholics do not worship Mary. We're not supposed to, anyway.1

Getting back to the statues, they were in place at the nativity scene when I stopped by with a camera Saturday afternoon. Two look like they're kneeling to the Baby Jesus, the third is bowing slightly.

But Friday they were in front of the altar, by the poinsettias you see in that top photo. Two of them seemed to be crouching behind poinsettia leaves; with the third several paces back, leaning out from behind a plant. It looked like they might be getting ready to yell "surprise!"...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

2 Jan 2016

'And they knelt down and paid him homage.' Sunday Reflections. The Epiphany

Adoration of the Magi (detail), Filippino Lipi, 1496
Alleluia and Gospel for the Epiphany
Alleluia, alleluia!
Vidimus stellam eius in Oriente,
We have seen his star in the East,
et venimus cum muneribus adorare Dominum.
and have come with gifts to adore the Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Gospel Matthew 2:1-12 (NRSV, Catholic Ed., Can.)
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

While based in Britain from 2000 till 2002 I was able to spend Christmas with my brother and his family in Dublin, a short flight from England, in 2000 and 2001. During the holiday in 2001 I saw a documentary on RTÉ, Ireland's national broadcasting service, about Filipino nurses in Ireland. These began to arrive in 2000, initially at the invitation of the Irish government to work in government hospitals. Very quickly there was an 'invasion' of Filipino nurses and carers, now to be found in hospitals and nursing homes in every part of the country
Full post here.

9 Jan 2015

Love, Hate, and "Silent Night"

Epiphany Sunday, 2014:

 Epiphany of the Lord, 2014

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
January 4, 2015

Epiphany is still Christmas, especially for all of us who are Gentile. The gifts we have received really do not compare to the greatest gift of all--- the babe of Bethlehem, the word made flesh and dwelt,s amongst us, is the precious Son of the Father.

Music is a part of this special gift, for music is a gift from God. How many of us are put in a mood of joy and hope through music, especially Christmas music. I listened to the sound of music a week 10 days ago and even after hearing it many times it still seemed like the first time. We can even here in our minds, Bing Crosby's White Christmas and if you are on a little more of the low brow side of music you may hear Elvis singing I'll have a blue blue blue Christmas without you...

(Guest post)
More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

4 Jan 2015

Small Victories: A Good Way to Celebrate Epiphany

I began reading essayist Anne Lamott's new book, Small Victories,  after  hearing her speak in November  at the Free Library of Philadelphia. My friend Shannon, an author and a  jail chaplain in Tacoma, suggested this would be a great book to read for Advent.

Well, even though it's under 300 pages, I just completed it today. Lamott's  is an authentic voice, one that does not sugar coat reality but which helps me find God in the smallest moments. Finishing the book is a good way to celebrate the Epiphany, that time when Jesus revealed himself to the world beyond his circumstances.

Lamott is a writer  we writers are supposed to love and one whose work I have not taken the time to read fully. While I have read bits and pieces of her illuminating work, this is the first full book of hers I have read from start to finish. She labels herself a "left wing" Christian and I suppose she is, but the label, as any political label does, reduces the value of her insights.

Keep Reading...

It Started With the Magi

Some folks, like the magi and shepherds, were happy about our Lord's birth. King Herod, not so much. Today's Gospel reading, Matthew 2:1-12, talks about this mixed reaction.

Two millennia later, I'm on the same page as the shepherds and wise men. I think our Lord's birth is cause for rejoicing. (Matthew 2:10Luke 2:20)

"Only the Beginning of a Great Procession"

"For the Church which believes and prays, the Wise Men from the East who, guided by the star, made their way to the manger of Bethlehem, are only the beginning of a great procession which winds throughout history...."
("Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Homily of Benedict XVI," (January 6, 2013))
Today is Epiphany Sunday, when the wise men arrive at the nativity scene in our living room, and we remember Matthew's account of the magi. As usual, there's quite a bit going on....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

The Courage and Humility of the Wisemen

The strongest impression for me of these three men is their courage as well as their humble spirituality.
They venture into the unknown, following a star of all things, into a foreign land with enough sensitivity to listen to the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit even though they are not Jewish.They have enough humility to prostrate themselves and actually worship an impoverished human newborn in the confines of a stable full of animals and surely the smell of manure
The Adoration of the Kings, Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1564
It is not within their spiritual tradition to worship a human, never mind an infant, yet their minds are open enough to acknowledge that this rogue star, which has settled over a stable, signifies an event of cosmic significance.Their hearts and souls are open enough to sense the presence of the Divine in a mortal baby.
In comparison to these ancient ‘heathens,’ we do not fare that well. continue

3 Jan 2015

'We . . . have come to pay him homage.' The Epiphany of the Lord.

The Adoration of the MagiVelázquez, 1619
Museo del Prado, Madrid [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings for the Solemnity of the Epiphany
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 

The readings above are used both at the Vigil Mass and at the Mass during the Day. Each Mass has its own set of prayers and antiphons.

In countries where the Epiphany is observed as a Holyday of Obligation on 6 January, eg, Ireland, the Mass of the Second Sunday after the Nativity is celebrated. The same readings are used in Years A, B, C:

Readings (Jerusalem Bible)

Alleluia and Gospel for the Epiphany


Alleluia, alleluia!
Vidimus stellam eius in Oriente,
We have seen his star in the East,
et venimus cum muneribus adorare Dominum.
and have come with gifts to adore the Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia!

The same text (cf. Matthew 2:2), without 'Alleluia, alleluia,' is used as the Communion Antiphon at the Mass during the Day.

Gospel Matthew 2:1-12 (New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada) Full post here,

3 Jan 2014

'They saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage.' Sunday Reflections, Epiphany



THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

In countries where this is a holyday of obligation, eg, Ireland, the solemnity is celebrated on the traditional date, 6 January. Where it is not a holyday of obligation, eg, the Philippines, it is observed on this Sunday.

The Epiphany has two different Mass formularies, At the Vigil Mass, celebrated on Saturday evening, and At the Mass during the Day. While the prayers and chants are different, the same readings are used at both Masses.

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)                                  

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)

SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE NATIVITY (Years A, B, C)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible) 

THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

Gospel Matthew 2:1-12 (New RevisedStandard Version, Catholic Edition, Canada) 

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.  They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.


The Adoration of the MagiVelásquez, 1619

When I entered St Columban's seminary in Ireland in 1961 the vast majority of Catholic missionaries were Westerners. We Columbans were predominantly Irish, with a good number of Americans, Australians, New Zealanders and a few from England and Scotland. There were many seminaries in Ireland preparing men to be priests overseas. And the vast majority of missionaries were priests and religious. That was before Vatican II.

Continue here.

5 Jan 2013

'When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.' Sunday Reflections for the Epiphany.



Adoration of the Magi, Francisco de Zurbarán, 1639-40 (Web Gallery of Art)


Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 

Gospel Matthew 2:1-12 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: 'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'" Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Liturgical note: The 2002 edition of the Roman Missal re-introduced the Vigil of the Epiphany. The Vigil Mass, celebrated before or after Evening Prayer on the eve of the Epiphany, has its own prayers, Entrance and Communion antiphons, but uses the same readings as on the feast day itself. It is incorrect to refer to a Vigil Mass as an 'anticipated Mass'. The Vigil Mass fulfils the obligation to attend Mass on a holyday of obligation or on a Sunday.
 

Full post here.



5 Jan 2012

'They prostrated themselves and did him homage.' Sunday Reflections. The Epiphany.

Adoration of the Magi, Francesco Bassano, painted 1567-69

The Epiphany 

Where the Solemnity of the Epiphany is not to be observed as a Holyday of obligation, it is assigned to the Sunday occurring between 2 and 8 January as its proper day. (The Roman Missal). As far as I know, Ireland is the only country where English is widely used that observes this feast as a Holyday of Obligation. Elsewhere it is observed this year on Sunday 8 January. Thew new English version of The Roman Missal also has a special Vigil Mass for the Solemnity of the Epiphany, though I think the readings are the same as in the Mass During the Day.


Readings (NAB)
 
Gospel Matthew 2:1-12 (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
 
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.
 
They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet:
 
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel."
 
Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance.
 
He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage."
 
After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.
 
They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
 
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.


Reflection by Columban Sister Kathleen Coyle
From the November/December 2011 issue of The Far East, the magazine of the Columbans in Australia and New Zealand.

St Matthew reminds us at the end of the Magi story that 'they departed for their country by another way' (Matt 2:12).

It was a journey of transformation for the three stargazers. Having drawn near to the sacred, they were awakened to the mystery of their lives. They are now transformed by the experience of the Christ Child in the manger and ready to live in a new and reflective way.

Just as the Easter liturgy invites us to ask Mary Magdalene, 'Tell us Mary, what have you seen along the way?' so the Christmas and Epiphany liturgies invite us to grasp the significance of the transcendental experience of our travellers from the East. Like Mary they could each reply, 'I have seen the Lord!'

Having been awakened to the mystery of their lives, touched and nourished by the energy of the divine, the Magi return home ready to face the routine of life with new hope and purpose.

Like the Magi, we, too, are led to Jesus. We are invited to come close to the borders of mystery, to search for God in the stable of our hearts.

In Fr Karl Rahner’s words, ‘we are encompassed absolutely by God at the moment of our search as we journey through life by the light of the star.’ Insights from occasional moments of deep prayer, from reading the scriptures, our sensitivity to listening to the pain of a friend, may be for us the star or the brilliant flash of light that leads us to the Child and his mother.

We discover that the real journey isn’t to Bethlehem or to the stable but into our hearts - a journey which is largely shaped by our own experiences. Prayer and meditation enable us to integrate all our experiences into our inner centre, or to partially or completely revise them.

As Meister Eckhart reminds us, we may on occasion experience the brightness of the star as much ‘by the fireside or in the stable’ as we do by devotions, ecstasies and contemplation.

Matthew’s reflection on the visit of the Magi invites us to travel “by another route” (2:12). It also invites us to support those who are searching for God in the humility of a fragile baby and who wish to travel home, transformed. This reflection takes us to a new place. Where that new place is and how God is leading us there, can emerge in our prayer, in our commitment and in our sharing of insights to enrich the community.

The star that shines over our personal mangers prepares us to welcome the Light of the World and to deepen our commitment to mission and mystery. The mystical experience of finding Jesus and of being completely encompassed by God must flow into our personal prayer, liturgies, homes and ministry, so that the mystery of God will spill over into our lives, our world and into history.

Sr Kathleen Coyle, a Columban Sister, has taught theology in the East Asian Pastoral Institute in the Philippines. She now resides in Ireland.



Introit: Ecce advénit Dominátor Dóminus; et regnum in manu eius et potéstas et impérium.

Entrance Antiphon: Behold, the Lord, the Mighty One, has come;
And kingship is in his grasp, and power and dominion. (Cf.Mal3:1; 1 Chr 29:12).

Remembering Wisdom

I'm a Christian. So why, one might ask, am I not denouncing something most folks enjoy: like demon rum or Bingo? Or playing the Grinch...