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 >
March
SMTuWThFS
     1
  • All day
    March 1, 2019

    PRIOR GENERAL’S VISIT TO THE BISHOP OF TANDAG

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Lourdes Tablizo
    Sr. Constancia Buchan

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Teresa de Jesus

2
  • All day
    March 2, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE HINATUAN

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Charina Mae Ogario, AR

3
  • All day
    March 3, 2019

    22nd ANNIVERSARY OF THE PROVINCE’S PRENOVITIATE PROGRAM

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Emeterio Buñao
    Fray Andrie Pugate [deacon]
    Sr. Felisa Ampasin, AR
    Sr. Josephine Facinabao, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Teodora de la Natividad

4
  • All day
    March 4, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE MANILA

    • AM: LUZON CLUSTER ASSEMBLY WITH FR. CARRÓN
      San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Manila
    • PM: FORMATORS’ ASSEMBLY WITH PRIOR GENERAL
      Venue: Recoletos de Manila Convent / Time: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    3rd RECOLETOS INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH CONGRESS
    March 4-6, 2019 / USJ-R Bask Campus, Cebu City
    Theme: “Multidisciplinary Research towards Sustainable Development”

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Celina Magcauas, AR

56
  • All day
    March 6, 2019

    ASH WEDNESDAY

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE TONDO

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE CAVITE

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Randolph Castulo Castillo, Jr.
    Sr. Rosalia Aparece, AR
    Sr. Ma. Corazon Caberte, AR
    Sr. Ridelia Tinga, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Josefina Rodriguez, AR

78
  • All day
    March 8, 2019

    14th PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE MIRANILA

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Rita de la Cruz, AR
    Sr. Ma. Guadalupe Siroy, AR
    Sr. Maria Natalia Oliver, AR

9
  • All day
    March 9, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Loreto Manigos, AR
    Sr. Merlyn Pelarion, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Faustina Almanza Nirza, AR

10
  • All day
    March 10, 2019

    BLESSING OF THE PILGRIM CENTER OF OUR LADY OF PEACE AND GOOD VOYAGE PARISH – Tondo, Manila
    Officiating Minister: Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Manila

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Kenneth Pahamutang
    Fray Maximillian Ifeanyichukwu Omem [deacon]

11
  • All day
    March 11, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE ANTIPOLO

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Briggitte Parba, AR
    Sr. Maria Jasmin Lumanog, AR

12
  • All day
    March 12, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marisa Bernasor, AR
    Mo. Dionisia Talangapaz+ (Foundress of the AR Sisters)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Inocencia Beringuel, AR

13
  • All day
    March 13, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE BAGUIO

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Digna Araña, AR
    Sr. Ma. Nicelina Rodriguez, AR

    6TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ELECTION OF POPE FRANCIS (2013-2019)

14
  • All day
    March 14, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, DD (Diocese of Bacolod)
    Sr. Ma. Clara Flores, AR

15
  • All day
    March 15, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE PANGASINAN

    BLESSING OF THE RENOVATED WINGS OF THE PARISH CHURCH – Our Lady of the Visitation, Urbiztondo

    TO ALL RELIGIOUS: DEADLINE TO SUBMIT ONLINE SURVEY BY THE GENERAL COMMISSION ON COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS (cf. Prot. CG 18/2019)

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT REX ANDREW CLEMENT ALARCON OF DAET (CAMARINES NORTE)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Lauro Larlar
    Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos
    Sr. Rosielyn Hijastro, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Visitacion B. Visitacion, AR

16
  • All day
    March 16, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE PROVINCIALATE

17
  • All day
    March 17, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Trinidad de la Purisima Concepcion
    Sr. Ma. Jesus Lastimado, AR

18
  • All day
    March 18, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE TAIWAN

19
  • All day
    March 19, 2019

    6TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INSTALLATION OF POPE FRANCIS (2013-2019)

    62nd PARISH FIESTA of St. Joseph Parish,
    Xiaogang, Kaohsiung (Taiwan)

    BIRTHDAY
    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archbishop of Cebu)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION (1999-2019)
    Sr. Shirley Nonato, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)

20
  • All day
    March 20, 2019

    INSTALLATION OF BISHOP REX ANDREW CLEMENT ALARCON OF DAET (CAMARINES NORTE)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Roweno Eugenio Hamo

21
  • All day
    March 21, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Mark Rochelle Renacia

22
  • All day
    March 22, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE SAIPAN

23
  • All day
    March 23, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Teodulo Hayahay

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Cecilia Salgado, AR

24
  • All day
    March 24, 2019

    EARTH HOUR (cf. LAMP 52)

    PRIOR GENERAL’S SPECIAL SESSION WITH THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL

    DESPEDIDA FOR FATHER GENERAL

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Christopher Gaspar
    Sr. Esmeralda Mantalaba, AR

25
  • All day
    March 25, 2019

    PRIOR GENERAL’S RETURN TO ROME

    INSTALLATION OF BISHOP RONALD IGNACIO LUNAS OF PAGADIAN

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Purificacion del Espiritu Santo
    Sr. Magdalena Salgado, AR

26
  • All day
    March 26, 2019

    GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING IN ROME
    March 26-28, 2019

2728
  • All day
    March 28, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Agustina Santos, AR
    Sr. Dorothy Aguila, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Gregoria de San Jose

29
  • All day
    March 29, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Kimberly Ragodos, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY (2008-2018)
    Fray William Cordero
    Fray Roderick Deguit

30
  • All day
    March 30, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MOROCCO

    • DAY 1: ROME – RABAT
      10:45 Departure by air from Rome-Fiumicino Airport for Rabat
      14:00 Arrival at Rabat-Salé International Airport / official welcome
    • WELCOME CEREMONY in the square in front of the Royal Palace
    • COURTESY VISIT TO KING MOHAMMED VI in the Royal Palace
    • MEETING with the MOROCCAN PEOPLE, the AUTHORITIES, with CIVIL SOCIETY and with the DIPLOMATIC CORPS on the Esplanade of the Mosquée Hassan
      Address of the Holy Father
    • VISIT TO THE MAUSOLEUM OF MOHAMMED V
    • VISIT TO THE MOHAMMED VI INSTITUTE FOR THE TRAINING OF IMAMS, MORCHIDINES AND MORCHIDATES
      Greeting of the Holy Father
    • MEETING WITH MIGRANTS at the premises of diocesan Caritas
      Greeting of the Holy Father

    BIRTHDAY
    Mo. Maxima Pelaez, AR
    Fray Jose Enrico Gallego, AR [simple prof]

31
  • All day
    March 31, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MOROCCO

    • DAY 2: RABAT – ROME
      VISIT TO THE CENTRE RURAL DES SERVICES SOCIAUX of Témara
    • MEETING WITH PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS, CONSECRATED PERSONS and the ECUMENICAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES in the Cathedral of Rabat
      Address of the Holy Father
      Angelus of the Holy Father
    • Lunch with the Papal Entourage
    • HOLY MASS
    • FAREWELL CEREMONY at Rabat-Salé International Airport

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Anastacia Fangon, AR

      

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