The Epiphany of the Lord

Sunday January 6, 2019
The Epiphany of the Lord
Lectionary: 20

A Reading from the Gospel according to Matthew
MT 2:1-12

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.

Salesian Sunday Reflection
Epiphany of the Lord

In today’s Gospel, on the Feast of the Epiphany, we experience the confidence of the Gentile magi, who seek God’s goodness in the Christ Child. Confidence to trust in God’s goodness is a constant theme in St. Francis de Sales’ writings:

The Magi from the East, confidently following the Star of Bethlehem, seek to render homage to the newborn Infant lying in a manger. They find no pleasure in the beauty of the city of Jerusalem, or in the magnificence of Herod’s court. Their hearts seek the little cave at Bethlehem and its little Child. They rigorously forsake every other pleasure so that they may more strongly find pleasure in God’s presence in the Christ Child.

Let us come close to our Savior in the divine crib and listen to the many inspirations and affections that awaken us to God’s goodness. It may be very difficult at times to trust in God. We may even feel no confidence in God. Yet in these times of difficulties we still have the power to make a simple act of confidence in God. We can say, “While I feel no confidence in You, I know that you are my God, and that I am all yours.”

We must not be distressed if we make these acts without fervor. Our Lord loves them better thus, for our lips speak what our heart wills. In this way we make continual progress in holy love, our journey toward wholeness. Our confidence is in God who is unchangeable and not in ourselves who are constantly changing. No one can ever trust in God without reaping the fruits of this confidence. Like the Magi following the Star of Bethlehem, let us pursue divine love with the confidence that we are continually being made whole in Christ—Who guides all those that choose to walk in His radiant light.

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales, particularly the Sermons, L. Fiorelli, Ed.)