Gospel for 1st Sunday in January 2019 The Epiphany of the Lord Year C
After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of King Herod, some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east. ‘Where Is the infant king of the Jews?’ they asked. ‘We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage’. When King Herod heard this he was perturbed, and so was the whole of Jerusalem. He called together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, and enquired of them where the Christ was to be born. ‘At Bethlehem In Judaea’, they told him ‘for this is what the prophet wrote: And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah you are by no means least among the leaders of Judah, for out of you will come a leader who will shepherd my people Israel.’ Then Herod summoned the wise men to see him privately. He asked them the exact date on which the star had appeared, and sent them on to Bethlehem. ‘Go and find out all about the child,’ he said ‘and when you have found him, let me know, so that I too may go and do him homage. Having listened to what the king had to say, they set out. And there in front of them was the star they had seen rising; It went forward and halted over the place where the child was. The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. But they were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, and returned to their own country by a different way.
GUIDELINES TO HELP US TO MEDITATE ON THE PASSAGE SO AS TO RECOGNIZE AND CELEBRATE GOD’S PRESENCE AND ACTIVITY IN OUR LIVES AND WORLD TODAY.
(prepared by volunteers from the Lectio Centre project)
1‘Some wise men came to Jerusalem … Meditating on the words of the passage let us think of the wise men and women in our world today, experts in their field e.g. of climate change, who warn us of the dangers to our planet. Pope Francis asks that we pay attention to their message and become more aware of our responsibility of protecting our environment and God’s wonderful gift to us of all creation. Lord, we pray that all world leaders will listen to the message of the dangers of climate change and implement policies that will protect our world and all living things in it
2‘The sight of the star filled them with delight…’ The wise men in the passage had absolute faith and trust in the sight of their star…who are the stars of love, friendship and support in our lives? The people who have helped us in times of crisis, people who have filled us with delight by their presence. Thank you, Lord, for organisations like St Vincent de Paul and Simon Community who have shone like a bright star in the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalised in our society. Help us too, to be guiding stars in the lives of others.
3‘Opening their treasures, they offered him gifts….’The infant Jesus and his mother were fully open to receiving the gifts offered by the Magi. Lord help us always to welcome others and the gifts which they bring. Let us be open to people of all faiths and traditions recognising that we can all learn from and enrich each other.