The Lord’s Epiphany – Year B

Posté par diaconos le 3 janvier 2021

L'Épiphanie du Seigneur — Année B dans Accueil sur mon blog 25510-180103114514972-0-960x640

We have come from the East to worship the king

# In the Armenian Church, the feast is one of the biggest feasts of the year because Christmas is not celebrated on December 25th but, according to ancient Christian custom, on January 6th. This also corresponds to the ancient traditions of the early Christian churches (before the conversion of the Roman Empire), and even to the family traditions of the time, according to which a child only becomes the son of his father on the day of his presentation to him and the recognition of the son by his father, and on this day the mother is also given thanks for the child who is recognized by his father and submits to his will. The nativity celebrated then takes on a more theological significance than in the Roman Catholic Church, since it is also traditionally the date by which the child receives from the father the revelation of his prophetic mission: what is celebrated is more the birth of « Christ the Saviour » and the manifestation of God (theophany), than that of the child Jesus, even if this celebration is directly linked to his birth. The Armenian Church proceeds to the blessing of the waters as in the Byzantine tradition.


From the Gospel according to Saint Matthew

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea in the time of King Herod the Great. Now, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, « Where is the King of the Jews who has just been born ? We have seen his star rising and have come to worship him ». When King Herod heard this, he was worried, and all Jerusalem with him.

He gathered together all the chief priests and all the scribes of Israel to ask them where the Messiah was to be born. They answered him, « In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, Bethlehem of Judea, are certainly not the last of the chief towns of Judea; for out of you shall come forth a ruler, who shall be the shepherd of Israel my people’ ». Then Herod summoned the Magi in secret to tell them the date on which the star had appeared and sent them to Bethlehem, saying to them : « Go and inquire of the child in detail. And when you have found him, let me know so that I too may go and bow down before him ».

On these words of the king, they left. And behold, the star which they had seen rising went before them; it came to rest over the place where the child was. And when they saw the star, they were exceedingly glad. When they entered the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and falling on their knees they bowed down before him. They opened their caskets and offered him their gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. But then, warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their country by another way. (Mt 2, 1-12)


Adoration of the Magi

« When they entered the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and falling on their knees, they bowed down before him » Lord, I have come to pray to you, to open my heart to you, to receive you. Lord, I have come to pray to you, to open my heart to you, to receive you. The Magi were tireless seekers of the truth, so that I too may seek your hidden face where I do not expect it.

The prophet Isaiah encourages us : « Arise and shine ! For your light is shining, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you » (Is 60:1). This light that the Prophet saw is the star that the Magi in the East saw, along with many others. The Magi discovered its meaning.

Theething that seems admirable to them, but which does not affect them. And so they do not react. The Magi realise that through it, God is se others contemplate it as somnding them an important message that is worth going through the inconvenience of leaving safe things aside and venturing on an uncertain journey: the hope of finding the King leads them to follow that star that the prophets had foretold and that the people of Israel had been waiting for centuries.

They arrive in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jews. They believe that there they will be shown the precise place where their King was born. Indeed, they will be told : « In Bethlehem in Judea, for this is what the prophet has written » (Mt 2, 5). The news of the arrival of the Magi and their question spread throughout Jerusalem in a short period of time : Jerusalem was a small city, and the presence of the Magi and their retinue must have been noticed by all the inhabitants, King Herod was worried and all of Jerusalem with him.

Jesus Christ crosses the lives of many people, who are not interested in him. A small effort would have changed their lives, they would have met the King of joy and peace. This requires a willingness to look for him, to move, to ask without being discouraged, like the Magi, to get out of our apathy, out of our routine, to appreciate the immense chance of finding Christ.

If we do not find Him, we have found nothing in life, because He alone is the Saviour: to find Jesus is to find the Way that leads us to know the Truth that gives us Life. And, without Him, nothing is worthwhile. Lord, the Magi have sought you and found you. They did not remain locked up in their science, thinking they could explain the world with their intelligence alone.

They put their knowledge at the service of a truth that they knew was greater than they were, aware that they were still searching. This humility enabled them to find you, the hidden God. Open my heart to your truth, to your tastes, to your criteria, to your way of seeing things. Make me humble in order to convert every day.


◊ Deacon Michel Houyoux : click here to read the paper → Light revealed to the peoples

Year B: Epiphany of the Lord

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