Epiphany

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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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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  • All day
    May 1, 2021

    ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER / LABOR DAY

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    (2010-2021)
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado

2
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    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo
    Fray Hector Gonzales
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    Fray Joseph Cyprian Panaligan
    Fray Jess Marco Sanchez

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    +Sr. Margarita Ponce, AR

3
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    May 3, 2021

    USJ-R: MOVING-UP CEREMONY (GRADE SCHOOL)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Roland Cepe
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    Sr. Myrna Gimena, AR
    Sis. Alejandra Arnaiz, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

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    +Sr. Ma. Felicitas Lucinario, AR

4
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    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

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    Sis. Elvira Ignacio, SAR (Provincialate Chapter) Sis. Lydia Rivera, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

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    (1991-2021)

    Fray Sixto Bitangjol
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    (2008-2021)

    Fray Jose Teodulfo Jadulco
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao

5
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    May 5, 2021

    400TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INAGURATION OF THE FIRST SAN SEBASTIAN CHUCH & THAT OF THE ENTHRONEMENT OF THE IMAGE OF N.S. DEL CARMEN DE SAN SEBASTIAN

    USJ-R: RECOGNITION DAY (GRADE SCHOOL)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Araceli de Vera, AR
    Bro. Danielito Davis Diesta, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Dalia Santos, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Ronald Capulong (RAY-Urbiztondo)

6
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    +Sr. Angustias del Divino Amor, AR

7
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    Fray Leopoldo Estioko
    Bro. Patrocinio Ergina, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Bro. Elmar Malvar, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Gloria Arroyo, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Nathaniel Jade Riego (RAY-Cavite)
    Lourdes Isabella Corpuz (RAY-Cebu)

8
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    Fray Dionisio Cachero
    Sr. Honey Mae Boquila, AR
    Bro. Wilson Sy, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
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    Sis. Erlinda Reyes, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Agatha Quillope, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Norberto Vingson, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

9
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    May 9, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Teresita Caballero, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
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    Sis. Gina Fernandez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Kenneleen Slam Alvarado (RAY-Talisay)

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    +Bro. Fortunato dela Rosa, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    +Bro. Alfredo Panelo, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    +Sis. Isabel Ursal, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

10
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    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Elisa Cañete, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Rodolfo Dayag, SAR (Manila Chapter)

11
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    +Sr. Ma. Restituta Torres, AR
    +Sis. Esmerencia Espeña, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Letecia Alemania, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Luz Kilayko, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

12
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    May 12, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Joseph Granada
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    Sis. Josefina Lanase, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Blancia, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Lido Cerna (RAY-Miranila)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (2007-2021)

    Fray James Castelo
    Fray Ralph Laureen Ciceron
    Fray Invenzor Melgazo
    Fray Nestor Raras
    Fray Rellyric Delos Santos

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Eduviges de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    +Sr. Amanda de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    +Sr. Paz Reandelar, AR

13
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    Archbp. Peter Liu Cheng-chung, D.D. (Archdiocese of Kaohsiung)
    Fray Jayferson Baldelovar
    Sr. Ma. Gracelda Bendoval, AR
    Sr. Loraine Lechago, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Manuel Magalona, SAR (Manila Chapter)

14
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    ST. MATTHIAS

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    +Sr. Nicolasa del Espiritu Santo, AR
    +Sr. Escolastica Calsado, AR
    +Sr. Natalia Paunil, AR
    +Mo. Ma. Bibiana Vendiola, AR

15
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    PATRONAL FIESTA – SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR PARISH, CASIAN ISLAND, TAYTAY, PALAWAN

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    Bro. Vince Adolfo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Nydia Cruz, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Mildred Mutia, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Corazon Treyes, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Ma. Señora Agbuya (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Gertrudes del Espiritu Santo, AR
    +Sis. Remedios Querubin, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Belen Rigonan, SAR (Manila Chapter)

16
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    May 16, 2021

    ASCENSION OF THE LORD

    55th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY Theme: “Come and See” (Jn 1:46). Communicating by Encountering People Where and as They Are

    12th FOUNDING ANNIVERARY OF RECOLETOS DE CASIAN COMMUNITY & SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR PARISH, CASIAN ISLAND, TAYTAY, PALAWAN (2009-2021)

    FIESTA OF THE OUR LADY OF PEACE AND GOOD VOYAGE PARISH, TONDO

    Fiesta Mass: 9:00 AM
    Presider & Homilist: Most Rev. Nolly Buco, D.D.

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    +Sr. Ma. Gracia Pil, AR
    +Sis. Ma. Aurora Hong, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

17
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    Mark Lorenzo Negre (RAY-Talisay)

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18
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    Rose Ann Dag-um (RAY-Provincialate)

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    +Sr. Prudencia Martinez, AR

19
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    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)

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    Sr. Ma. Cecilia Bongcawel, AR
    Bro. Sergio Javillo, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Lolita Caabay, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    En Sueno (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Paula de la Purisima Concepcion, AR
    +Sis. Juliet Tano, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

20
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    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Don Besana
    Sis. Evelyn Abutin, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Dolores Cañeda, AR

21
  • All day
    May 21, 2021

    20TH ANNIVERSARY OF “BLAZING IN DISGUISE”
    (when the east wing of the seminary building of CARES in Baguio was gutted by fire.)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Victoria Sandiego, AR
    Sr. Sulpicia Geronimo, AR
    Sr. Cynthia Camuta, AR
    Sr. Maria Flor Mejarito, AR
    Sis. Virginia Cosca, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Evelyn Leongas, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Mary Ann Cayabyab (RAY-Urbiztondo)

22
  • All day
    May 22, 2021

    FEAST OF ST. RITA OF CASCIA

    INSTITUTION OF THE MINISTRY OF LECTORATE AND ACOLYTHATE
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    USJ-R: COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES (COLLEGE, LAW SCHOOL & GRADUATE STUDIES)

    CSNT-R: THANKSGVING MASS, COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES & MOVING-UP CEREMONY (ALL LEVELS)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Emy Catalonia, OAR
    Sr. Ma. Quiteria Ragundiaz, OAR
    Sis. Carmen Esnaldo, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Potenciana Gomez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

23
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    May 23, 2021

    PENTECOST SUNDAY

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    Bro. Antonio Diesta, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Dering Quinto, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Epitecia Tonggoy, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Alita Garcia, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Caridad de la Virgen del Rosario, AR
    +Sis. Virginia Auman, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

24
  • All day
    May 24, 2021

    DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH IN CHINA

    SSCR, MANILA: RECOGNITION DAY (SHS)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Justina de Leon, AR
    Sr. Vicenta Climacosa, AR
    Bro. Jose Ely Honrado, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Christine Salabsab (RAY-Laray)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (1986-2021)
    Fray Eduardo Celiz, Jr. Fray Joel Naranja
    Fray Emilio Edgardo Quilatan

25
  • All day
    May 25, 2021

    75TH FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1946-2021) OF THE VICARIATE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND CHINA

    FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOLETOS DE BACOLOD COMMUNITY (1962-2021)

    FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOLETOS DE MIRANILA COMMUNITY (1985-2021)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Nicholasa Sabado, AR
    Ella Aiza Jabagat (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Auxiliadora Somosot, AR

26
  • All day
    May 26, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Avelina Tatel, AR
    Sis. Leah Espacio, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Angustias Librea, AR
    +Sis. Dolores Nipales, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

27
  • All day
    May 27, 2021

    AR SISTERS – SOLEMN PROFESSION OF VOWS
    10:00 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Alfreda Lobitaña, AR
    Sis. Menchie Bautista, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Corazon Miranda, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
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    Sis. Milagros Comahig, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Jocelyn Nengasca, SAR (Manila Chapter)

28
  • All day
    May 28, 2021

    DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE SANCTIFICATION OF PRIESTS

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    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS (cf. LAMP 5c) SSCR, MANILA: GRADUATION DAY (GRADE 12)

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Emilio Marquez, D.D. (Diocese of Lucena)
    Sr. Emilia Buenaseda, AR
    Sis. Delia Española, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Jean Blanco, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    Sr. Ma. Carmen Bolaños, AR

29
  • All day
    May 29, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

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    Sis. Elsa Claver, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Leontina Mira, AR

30
  • All day
    May 30, 2021

    TRINITY SUNDAY

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Cristituto Rey Tepace [deacon]

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Teresita Salada, AR

31
  • All day
    May 31, 2021

    FEAST OF THE VISITATION

    PATRONAL FIESTA OF OUR LADY OF THE VISITATION  PARISH
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    Presider & Homilist: Most Rev. Socrates Villegas, D.D.

    SPA-R: COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Priscilla Salazar, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Fe Violeta Taring, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Almario de la Cerna, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

     

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