Epiphany

Is 60:1-6; Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6.
Mt 2:1-12.

Epiphaneia means an act of appearing. Jesus appears to the non-Jews. At Christmas Jesus was revealed by angels to the shepherds who were Israelites. Angels were part of Jewish faith. Now Jesus appears to non-Jews, magi coming from the east guided by a star, because they were astrologers. Magi were mostly of the priestly caste in Babylon and Persia. They were also considered wise men because of their studies of the movements of the heavenly bodies. The number three was based on the number of the gifts. The Gospels do not indicate that they were kings. The star was mentioned by Balaam in Nm 24:17, “A star shall advance from Jacob and a staff (scepter) shall rise from Israel.” Earlier in Gen 49:10 Jacob prophesied, “The scepter shall never depart from Judah,” indicating a king. The location of Bethlehem as the birth place is given to us by Mic 5:1-3.

Let us now take a look at the contrasting parties involved in this story. The magi were considered wise because of their knowledge of the heavenly bodies accumulated by many generations of data collection concerning their movements and corresponding events on earth. However, these are all human wisdom, its authority stands on human observation. Herod and the people in Jerusalem possessed the accumulated prophecies received from Yahweh and the Torah given through Moses giving them solid wisdom of divine origin. With their human knowledge, the magi followed the Star and searched for something they learned only through human means. They made preparations for the journey, spending their hard earned finances, left their homes and spent days, weeks and months on their quest for the “new born king of the Jews.” Of what importance was he to them that they should sacrifice so much in search of him? Besides, the journey was uncertain; there could be setbacks along the way: sand storms, and/or ambush by bandits in the desert. Yet they took the risk and were even happy to follow the Star. Let me pause and ask myself; in my search for Jesus, have I sacrificed so much? Am I willing to sacrifice so much?

When they came near Jerusalem, the Star disappeared. Why? Jerusalem did not have clear eyes to see the Star of the Savior. Herod was not interested in the supernatural; he was very much attached to his earthly position and possession. When the magi told him of the “new born king” he felt threatened. Historical records tell us that Herod even killed some of his sons on suspicion that they were plotting to dethrone him. Pretending to find the truth about the Messiah, he called the wise men of Israel to know what the prophets said. Then he asked the magi to go and find this “new born king” and inform him, so he too could go and pay him homage. In reality he was calculating how he could find him and kill him. Herod and the Jews rejected the Messiah while the gentiles sought and accepted him. In my retreats, seminars and recollections, when the speakers touched a sensitive part of my sinful life, what were my feelings? Was I humble and contrite? Or was I angry, rebellious, calculating how to get even? And so Herod did not find his Savior and Salvation. He ended killing innocent babies, he turned into a murderer. That was Herod the Great. Later, his descendant Herod Agrippa, would murder John the Baptist who told him the truth of his standing with God. Denial of truth can lead us to greater sin, because only the truth can set us free.

Jerusalem remained in the state of darkness because its leader Herod refused to accept the “new born king.” As soon as the Magi left the city, they saw the Star again and their joy returned; they followed it until they found the Child Jesus with Mary his Mother. Their sacrifices to make the journey and the obstacles along the way vanished into the background because they found the object of their quest. Their reward was that they were able to pay him homage and offer him their gifts. In our quest for the Lord, finding him is itself our reward, feeling his nearness is our greatest security. Being able to serve him is our greatest joy. After sponsoring an MEW, we feel tired and exhausted, and yet we feel joy in our heart. After the prayer and worship and the program of our Foundation Day and the community Christmas Party, we feel tired and exhausted, but there is joy in our hearts because we felt the presence of God in our gathering as brothers and sisters.

Let us consider the gifts which were in themselves prophetic: the Gold because he is King; the Frankincense because he is Priest; and the Myrrh because he was to die for his people (myrrh was and is an important ingredient for embalming). In our giving of our treasure, we offer Jesus our gold. In our worship and life of prayer, we offer Jesus our frankincense. In our fasting and penance (denying the self and dying with Jesus), we offer him our myrrh. Let this feast of Epiphany encourage us to follow the Star that leads to Jesus and find Mary as well. Offering him our gifts is a special grace and privilege; let us never get tired of loving and serving the Lord.

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Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

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< 2019 >
January
SMTuWThFS
  1
  • All day
    January 1, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF THE THEOTOKOS

    WORLD DAY OF PEACE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Celerina Hifarva, AR
    Sr. Cristita Cha, AR

23
  • All day
    January 3, 2019

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS OF FRAY NIEL RYAN JARUMAY, OAR
    St. Joseph Parish / Canlaon City, Negros Oriental
    9:00 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Gregoria Ibarra, AR
    Sr. Ma. Bella Mojica, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Clemencia Ranin, AR

4
  • All day
    January 4, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Regina Cadiz, AR
    Sr. Adelaida Elli, AR

5
  • All day
    January 5, 2019

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS OF FRAY ELPEDIO SARITA, JR., OAR
    St. Ezekiel Moreno Quasi Parish/ Caidiocan, Valencia, Negros Oriental
    9:30 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Leonarda Muncada, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Cleofe Claro, AR

6
  • All day
    January 6, 2019

    EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

    PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING
    Venue: Provincial House / 2:00 P.M.

    PROVINCE-WIDE CHRISTMAS PARTY
    Venue: Provincial House / 6:00 P.M.

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Juana de la Merced, AR

78
  • All day
    January 8, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ian Anthony Espartero
    Sr. Leticia Cerdeño, AR
    Fray Jay- Jasper Jamelo (simple prof)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (2002-2019)
    Most Rev. Julito Cortes, D.D. (Diocese of Dumaguete)

9
  • All day
    January 9, 2019

    FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Rosario Bianes, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Dominga Gargarita, AR

10
  • All day
    January 10, 2019

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Victor Bendico (Diocese of Baguio)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Paulina de la Purisima Corazon de Maria, AR
    Sr. Ma. Luz Asuncion Nitura, AR

11
  • All day
    January 11, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Catalina Ruiz, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Zita Lloren, AR

12
  • All day
    January 12, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla

13
  • All day
    January 13, 2019

    BAPTISM OF THE LORD

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (1998-2019)
    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archdiocese of Cebu)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Rosario Rosales, AR

14
  • All day
    January 14, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Emilia Madrigal, AR

15
  • All day
    January 15, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Anthony Irineo
    Sr. Ma. Marcela de la Cruz, AR

16
  • All day
    January 16, 2019

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DEAD RELATIVES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

    SSC-R MANILAs FOUNDATION CELEBRATIONS
    Inclusive dates: January 16-19, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Mo. Maria del Carmen, OAR (Bacolod) Sr. Zerah Cordero, AR

17
  • All day
    January 17, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Corvin Maturan

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Cipriano Zubiri (1998-2019)
    Sr. Celedonia de la Santissima Trinidad, AR Sr. Cesaria Barbarona, AR

18
  • All day
    January 18, 2019

    WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
    Inclusive Dates: January 18-25, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Dexter Palagtiosa

19
  • All day
    January 19, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cleofe Maria Agua, AR

20
  • All day
    January 20, 2019

    FEAST OF THE STO. NIÑO

    FEAST OF ST. SEBASTIAN (MANILA & CAVITE COMMUNITIES, DIOCESE OF BACOLOD)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Adelina Reyes, AR

21
  • All day
    January 21, 2019

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Urbano Galanido, Jr.
    Fray Jerome Virtudazo

22
  • All day
    January 22, 2019

    WORLD YOUTH DAY IN PANAMA

    Inclusive Dates: January 22-27, 2019 Theme: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk. 1:38)

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Victor Bendico, DD (Bishop of Baguio)

23
  • All day
    January 23, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO PANAMA

    Inclusive Dates: January 23-27, 2019

    DAY 1 – ROME-PANAMA

    9:35

    Departure by air from Rome/Fiumicino for Panama

    16:30

    Arrival at Tocumen International Airport in Panama

    Official welcome

    16:50

    Transfer to the Apostolic Nunciature

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Gertrudis del Pilar, AR
    Sr. Cresencia Vailoces, AR

24
  • All day
    January 24, 2019

    60th ANNIVERSARY (1959-2019) of the PROCLAMATION OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
    DAY 2 – PAPAL VISIT TO PANAMA

    9:45

    Welcome ceremony at the main entrance of Palacio de las Garzas – Presidency of the Republic

    Courtesy visit to the President of the Republic in Palacio de las Garzas – Presidency of the Republic

    10:40

    Meeting with the Authorities, with the Diplomatic Corps and with Representatives of Society in Palacio Bolivar– Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    11:15

    Meeting with central american Bishops in the Church of San Francisco de Asis

    17:30

    Welcome ceremony and opening of WYD at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua – Cinta Costera

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Paz Bawagan, AR
    Sr. Faith Niña Fuertes, AR

25
  • All day
    January 25, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL
    DAY 3 – PAPAL VISIT TO PANAMA

    10:30

    Penitential liturgy with young detainees in the Centro de Cumplimiento de Menores Las Garzas de Pacora

    11:50

    Transfer by helicopter to the Apostolic Nunciature

    17:30

    Via Crucis with young people at Campo Santa Maria la Antigua – Cinta Costera

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (1983-2019)
    Most Rev. Antonio Tobias, D.D. (Diocese of Novaliches)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Lucia Sagmit, AR

26
  • All day
    January 26, 2019

    DAY 4 – PAPAL VISIT TO PANAMA

    9:15

    Holy Mass with the dedication of the altar of the Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria la Antigua with priests, consecrated persons and lay movements

    12:15

    Lunch with young people in the San José Major Seminary

    18:30

    Vigil with young people at Campo San Juan Pablo II – Metro Park

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cristopher Maspara

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (2005-2019)
    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D. (Diocese of Imus)

27
  • All day
    January 27, 2019

    66th WORLD LEPROSY DAY
    DAY 5 – PANAMA-ROME

    8:00

    Holy Mass for World Youth Day at Campo San Juan Pablo II – Metro Park

    10:45

    Visit to the Casa Hogar del Buen Samaritano

    Angelus

    16:30

    Meeting with the WYD volunteers in the Rommel Fernandez Stadium

    18:00

    Farewell ceremony at Panama International Airport

    18:15

    Departure by air for Rome

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marilyn Cula, AR
    Sr. Remilyn Leonido, AR

28
  • All day
    January 28, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Louie Gabinete

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Fernanda del Pilar
    Sr. Ines Garcia, AR

29
  • All day
    January 29, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Francisca Rojas, AR

30
  • All day
    January 30, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jonathan Caballero
    Sr. Angelica Fuentes, AR
    Sr. Pascualina Peral, AR

31
  • All day
    January 31, 2019

    INSTALLATION OF ARCHBP. ANGELITO R. LAMPON, OMI, D.D.
    Archbishop of Cotabato

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Josephine Ativo, AR

  

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