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Father Bryan Pedersen

To Deacon Jim Ramsey; to Jeff Patry and Choir, Bell Choir, Cantors, instrumentalists; to our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion; to our Lectors; to our Ushers, to our Altar Servers, to Joanne Kennedy and Karen Krussow and the Arts and Environment Committee and all who helped decorate the church for Christmas; to Mark, Cesar and Mike, our custodians and to Darlene Doran for printing the many worship aides and to Our Parishioners. All together, despite the cold weather, we all made this Christmas, Warm, Welcoming and Joyous.

GOSPEL MEDITATION

January 7, 2018 The Epiphany of the Lord
”Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” What a wonderful example the Magi give us in their visit to the infant Jesus. First of all, they demonstrate profound faith in God’s word, spoken through the prophet Micah: “And you, Bethlehem … from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel” (cf. 5:2). Embarking on a long and difficult journey, they trust that they will find this newborn king of the Jews in Bethlehem as the prophecy announced.

On their arrival at the home of the Holy Family, the Magi also give us an example of profound humility. These important men, to whom kings look for guidance and advice, do not hesitate to bow down, to “prostrate themselves” and give homage to a tiny babe. Putting their own position out of their minds, they reverently worship the infant Lord even as he sits on the lap of his mother.

The generosity of these three “kings” is also evident as they open their treasure boxes and give to the poor child the richest of gifts. Traditionally, we understand the gold to symbolize the earthly kingship of Christ, the frankincense to represent his divinity, and the myrrh to stand as a symbol of the anointing he will receive upon his death.

Finally, the wisdom of these men is evident in their decision to return to their country “by another way.” Understanding the threat that King Herod posed to Jesus, they followed a plan that would help keep the divine child safe even though it meant inconvenience to themselves.

Faith, humility, generosity, and wisdom. These gifts are the real legacy of the Three Kings. Today, let us ask God for the blessing of having these gifts in our lives.

LIVE THE LITURGY

Jesus came for everyone. No one has an exclusive claim on Christ and his birth not only transcends time and space but earthly boundaries as well. Every human being is a child of God. Jews and Gentiles alike are all coheirs, partners and members of the same body. This insight or epiphany is what we celebrate today. It also expresses our hope that one day every nation on earth will recognize and adore Jesus Christ. Jesus’ message of peace, justice, reconciliation and love are meant for everyone to hear and understand.

The most important person is always the person with whom you are, who is right before you. -Leo Tolstoy