Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:1-13
Welcome to the first Sunday of the year. Today the church celebrates the Epiphany of the Lord which means manifestation of the Lord. A common theme in the three readings appointed for this day is the manifestation of God to people outside the religious community. Isaiah reminds the community of its call to be a light to the nations and destroys the false dichotomy between internal and external ministry by suggesting that expansion and restoration are integrally connected. The author of Ephesians suggests that the ultimate purpose of God is the unification of humanity in a truly multicultural community where all distinctions between “insiders” and “outsiders” have vanished. The Gospel of Matthew reminds us that such distinctions began to erode with the coming of Christ, who was revealed to some who were thought to be on the outside and paradoxically rejected by many who were thought to be on the inside. The church’s observance of Epiphany ought not be a triumphal occasion for those who have seen the light to celebrate their privileged status. The lessons appointed for this day encourages the humble admission that God’s glory may be manifested where we least expect it. So we should be open to the surprises of the Spirit.
In verse 13, the Angel of the Lord told Joseph to flee to Egypt. Egypt had been a house of bondage to Israel, and particularly cruel to the infants of Israel; yet it was a place of refuge to the Holy Child, Jesus. God, when He pleases, can make the worst of places serve the best of purposes. This was a trial of the faith of Joseph and Mary. But their faith, being tried, was found firm. If we and our infants are at any time in trouble, let us remember the straits in which Christ was as an infant.
As we continue our 21 days’ fast tomorrow, we are encouraged to be spiritually sensitive to the revelations and directions which the Holy Spirit will grant us during and beyond. Endeavour to discern properly your dreams and inspirations and adhere to whatever the Holy Spirit tells you. If the Magi were not attentive to the sign of the star and the voice of the Angel, they could have messed up their whole journey of faith to encounter Jesus the new born King. If Joseph did not understand and adhered to the instructions of the Angel, he could have jeopardised the mission of Jesus. As we fast and pray, we must listen and adhere to the voice of the Holy Spirit in its various ramifications.
MASS: WHITE Is 60:1-6; Ps 72:1-2. 7-8. 10-11. 12-13 (R.11); Eph 3:2-3a. 5-6; Accl. Mt. 2:2; Mt 2:1-12 EPIPHANY OF THE LORD SOLEMNITY
1. Visit the Blessed Sacrament and take the Daily Strength Devotional Prayer for the New Year
Exercise: Users are encouraged to gather every Sunday at 2pm or any other convenient time during this 21-day fasting period as a DSD family in your parish/area, pray together and visit any prison or the less privileged around you with gifts in the spirit of our 21-day fasting almsgiving.
Meditation: Matthew 25:40