Celebrate Sunday Mass - The Epiphany of the Lord - 1.3.21

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1/3/2021 (1 week ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

January 3, 2021 -- The Epiphany of the Lord

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO SUNDAY MASS ON THE FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler. The response to offering these beautiful liturgies has been overwhelming. The readings, as always, offer so much for us to reflect on. It is helpful to pray through them and reflect upon them before we assist at Holy Mass.

Our first reading is an excerpt from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah was a Messianic Prophet in the Hebrew Scriptures. In this entire chapter, the Lord assures His people Israel that the Messiah will come as a light and gather His people. That gathering will include people from all the Nations. That will even include those who once oppressed Israel.

Today, we remember that the Nativity of the Lord is the fulfillment of that prophetic promise. The word Epiphany means a manifestation. The Lord Jesus Christ is that light, that manifestation. And the wise men followed the star to find the newborn King, the Light of the world. Many of the people who lived in Bethlehem at the time, saw the child Jesus as a child like any other. But these Kings, aided by the light of living faith, the manifestation of God's glory, saw Him for who He was - and Is - the King, the Messiah. The Light of the whole world.  

The Psalmist and Prophet David reiterates, in our Response taken from Psalm 72, that every Nation on earth will adore the Lord. And, these men, from distant lands, are a sign of the fulfillment of that loving plan. Among the first gentiles to see the Lord and worship Him. 

In the portion we heard from the Apostle Paul's letter to the Ephesians, he is instructing the early Christians. Explaining to them, and to us, that that the gentiles who believe in the Lord Jesus, and are baptized, are co-heirs with the Jews and members of the One Body of Christ, the New Israel, the Church. This is a marvelous revelation of the "mystery" which is now manifested in Jesus Christ. 

In the Gospel of St Matthew, we hear the wonderful story of the encounter. These Kings are enlightened, numbered among the first gentiles to adore Him, when the world did not know Him. They brought Him gifts from the East. 

Gold, a symbol of royalty. Incense, the perfume which is offered in the House of the Lord and represents the prayers of the faithful rising to God. Myrrh was used to anoint the dead. A foreshadowing that this newborn King was born to die. That through His sacrificial offering on the Cross, He would set us free from sin and death and join us to the Father. And, He would be raised from the dead, defeating death and lavishing life on those who follow Him.  

In this wonderful Feast of the Epiphany the Church proclaims the manifestation of Jesus Christ to all men and women - of all   times and Nations. Gods loving plan of salvation is universal. That is why all Christians are now enlisted in the missionary activity of the Church. We are all called to both believe the message of the Gospel and to share it with others. This Feast should remind us that we should bring our friends, relatives, and colleagues to Jesus Christ. 

The Star beckoned the three Wise men, and they sought the One who was - and is - the Light of the world. Wise men and women still seek Him. Let us choose on this great Feast to be numbered among them. 

May the Lord bless you, your families, the Church, and the Nations of the world on this Lord's Day.   

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation

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