January 8, 2023 Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord (Cycle A, Yr. I)

Community Word: The Father’s love makes us joint heirs with His Son, Jesus Christ.
Theme: We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ when we adore and offer Him our time, talent and resources.
Promise: “…upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears His glory.” (Is 60:2b)

Reflection:
The Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord celebrates God’s manifestation of Jesus as the Messiah and Savior of the world. Symbolized by the journey of wise men from the East, commonly called Magi, in search of the new-born King of the Jews, God revealed His wonderful plan that salvation is not merely for the Jewish nation, but for all of mankind. With the coming of the Messiah, salvation made “the Gentiles co-heirs, members of the same body and co-partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel,” (Eph 3:6). Epiphany reminds us that Jesus came to fulfil not only the hopes of His people (Israelites) but also the deepest yearning and longing of men, regardless of race and culture. Jesus is not only “the radiance of Israel” but is also revealed as the “light of all nations.”
In the first reading, Isaiah’s prophecy, predicting the radiance of Jerusalem over the rest of the world, was fulfilled when the Magi came to Jerusalem in search for the baby Jesus, through whom “nations shall walk by His light and kings by His shining radiance,” (Is 60:3). The uncharted journey of the Magi, guided only by a brilliant star to bring gifts and pay homage to an unknown king, removed the dividing wall between the Jews, known as the “chosen people” and the gentiles (non-Jews), representing all nations. All people of the earth are invited to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
As we grow in maturity as Christians, we begin to place a deeper meaning on the Epiphany of the Lord… why God destined the wise men to be guided by the Star of Bethlehem to do the baby Jesus homage and to offer him “gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh,” and why He guided them home “to depart for their country by another way,” (Mt 2: 12b). There are symbols here that we can apply to our life today.
Today, our faith journey is being steered by Jesus, our guiding Star, to direct our path towards Him. As we start a new year with hopeful expectation, we can resolve to make Jesus foremost in our life and make this year a year of true spiritual re-awakening. Jesus is our one and only Lord who deserves our time, talent and resources, above all our priorities and attachments.
After being shaken by the many challenges caused by the pandemic and other environmental calamities, people have now realized how vulnerable life is; and God is truly in control of everything. The experience of sustained real threats to life might have become a breakthrough moment of conversion as people begin to open their eyes to the importance of having a sustained and deeper relationship with God, to grow spiritually and prepare for eternal life.
Epiphany is a call to all believers to share the divine concern for the salvation of all and to be the guiding star, through their exemplary witnessing, to announce the Good News to all people. It is in this context that we, as members of the BLD community, should lead in raising the spiritual awareness of our family, friends, relatives, officemates and even strangers. Let Christ in us, through our Christian witnessing, win others and bring them to know Jesus more. Let us accept the challenge to be Christ-like at all times, keeping the faith, placing God above everything we have and do, loving, forgiving and being trustworthy servants of God. Thus, making us worthy of this promise – “…upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears his glory,” (Is 60:2b).

Prayer:
Lord, let Your light shine upon all of us that we might be the stars in the darkness of this world, to guide as many people who are lost in their journey towards their true destination. Give us strength to live up to our commitment and covenant with You, so that we may bless You and Your chosen people all the days of our lives. May we always live by Your word and be guided by it. Amen.

Reflection Guide Questions:

  1. What changes should I make in order that I will be able to strengthen and deepen my spiritual life?
  2. How do I bring the light of Christ to others so that they too may “find” Jesus through my Christian witnessing?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
January 8, 2023 (Sun) – Is 60:1-6/ Ps 72:1,2,7,8,10,11,12,13/ Eph 3:2,3,5,6/ Mt 2:1-12
January 9, 2023 (Mon) – Is 42:1-4, 6-7/ Ps 29:1-4, 9, 10/ Acts 10:34-38/ Mt 3:13-17
January 10, 2023 (Tue) – Heb 2:5-12/ Ps 8:2, 5, 6-9/ Mk 1:21-28
January 11, 2023 (Wed) – Heb 2:14-18/ Ps 105:1-7, 8, 9/ Mk 1:29-39
January 12, 2023 (Thu) – Heb 3:7-14/ Ps 95:6-11/ Mk 1:40-45
January 13, 2023 (Fri) – Heb 4:1-5, 11/ Ps 78:3, 4, 6-8/ Mk 2:1-12
January 14, 2023 (Sat) – Heb 4:12-16/ Ps 19:8,-10, 15/ Mk 2:13-17

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

 
 

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