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THE word Epiphany means "manifestation," and it has passed into general acceptance throughout the universal Church, from the fact that Jesus Christ manifested to the eyes of men His divine mission on this day first of all, when a miraculous star revealed His birth to the kings of the East, who, in spite of the difficulties and dangers of a long and tedious journey through deserts and mountains almost impassable, hastened at once to Bethlehem to adore Him and to offer Him mystical presents, as to the Ding of kings, to the God of heaven and earth, and to a Man withal feeble and mortal. The second manifestation was when, going out from the waters of the Jordan after having received Baptism from the hands of St. John, the Holy Ghost descended on Him in the visible form of a dove, and a voice from heaven was heard, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased." The third manifestation was that of His divine power, when at the marriage-feast of Cana He changed the water into wine, at the sight whereof His disciples believed in Him. The remembrance of these three great events, concurring to the same end, the Church has wished to celebrate in one and the same festival.
Reflection. —Admire the almighty power of this little Child, Who from His cradle makes known His coming to the shepherds and magi—to the shepherds by means of His angel, to the magi by a star in the East. Admire the docility of these kings. Jesus is born; behold them at His feet? Let us be little, let us hide ourselves, and the divine strength will be granted to us. Let us be docile and quick in following divine inspirations, and we shall then become wise of the wisdom of God, powerful in His almighty power. you!
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Behold the Lord the Ruler is come: and a kingdom in His hand, and power and dominion. Ps. 71, 1. Give to the king thy judgement, O God: and to the king’s son Thy justice. Glory be …
O God, Who by the guidance of the star didst this day reveal Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we, who know Thee now by faith, may be so led as to behold with our eyes the beauty of Thy majesty. Through the same.
Lesson from Isaias the Prophet.
[The light of true faith shall shine forth in the church of Christ, and shall be spread through all nations, and continue for all ages.]
Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes round about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the. strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord.
All thy from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord. Arise and be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
Alleluia, alleluia. Matt. 2, 2. We have seen His star in the east: and are come with gifts to adore the Lord. Alleluia.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[The offerings of the wise men: the flight into Egypt: the massacre of the Innocents.]
When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. Saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him. And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet:
And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, privately calling the wise men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; And sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come to adore him. Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.
The kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents: the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts: and all kings of the earth shall adore Him; all nations shall serve Him.
Favorably regard the gifts of Thy Church, O Lord, wherein no longer gold is offered, nor frankincense, nor myrrh, but He who by these gifts is signified is become our sacrifice and our food, Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who with Thee.
We have seen His star in the east, and are come with gifts to adore the Lord.
Grant, we beseech Thee O almighty God, by the understanding of hearts made pure we may comprehend that which by solemn rite we celebrate. Through our Lord.