Sunday, January 4, 2015

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.

Herod apparently saw our Lord as a feared rival: but told the magi he wanted to "do him homage." The magi, "warned in a dream not to return to Herod," bypassed Jerusalem on their way home. Then Herod had all male infants and toddlers in and around Bethlehem killed. (Matthew 2:8, 12, 16)

I'm not surprised that this particular set of killings ordered by King Herod weren't recorded.

By the time he died, Herod had arranged the deaths of one wife and three sons: plus quite a few other folks. Bethlehem was a small town, so reasonable estimates of the number of children killed range from a half-dozen to twenty. (Holy Innocents, Catholic Encyclopedia)

At the time, a handful of infants killed in some obscure town probably didn't seem important.

Joining the Great Procession

Meanwhile, Jesus was growing up in Egypt, and that's almost another topic.

Epiphany Sunday and the magi are very important to me, since the magi are "representatives of the neighboring pagan religions." They were the first of many gentiles who recognized Jesus as Son of God and Savior of the world. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 528)

As I've said before, I'm about as gentile as it gets, west of the Urals. When the magi arrived in Bethlehem, my ancestors were somewhere in the barbarian lands north of the western Roman Empire. (August 4, 2013)

We eventually started worshiping God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; stopped conducting human sacrifices; and joined the great procession. (January 19, 2010)

Epiphany is the end of the Christmas season. The next big set of holidays is the Easter season, when we remember and celebrate our Lord's life, death: and return to life.

I'm a little rushed this weekend, since there's a big family get-together that I don't want to miss: so I'll wrap this up with a few quotes.

"This Mission is Still Only Beginning"

"5 Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.' "
(John 8:12)

"He said to him, 22 'You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

"This is the greatest and the first commandment.

"The second is like it: 23 You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

"24 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.' "
(Matthew 22:37-40)

"11 Then Jesus approached and said to them, 'All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

"Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,

"teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. 13 And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.' "
(Matthew 28:18-20)

"When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.

"While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.

"They said, 'Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.' "
(Acts 1:9-11)

"...Twenty centuries have passed since that mystery was revealed and brought about in Christ, but it has not yet reached fulfilment. My beloved Predecessor, John Paul II, began his Encyclical on the Church's mission by writing: 'As the second Millennium after Christ's Coming draws to an end, an overall view of the human race shows that this mission is still only beginning' (Redemptoris Missio, n. 1)...."
("Homily of Benedict XVI on the Solemnity of the Epiphany," (January 6, 2007))
More of my take on the great procession:

No comments:

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More


Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.