Reflections on Scripture Feast of the Epiphany Gospel Year B

By 11:14 AM


When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage." 

· King Herod: Herod reigned from 37 to 4 BC

· It was a common ancient belief that a new star appeared at the time of a ruler's birth. Matthew also draws upon the Old Testament story of Balaam, who had prophesied that "A star shall advance from Jacob" (Num 24:17 ), though there the star means not an astral phenomenon but the king himself.

· How attentive are we to the signs God gives us?

When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: 'And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.'" 

· Mt refers to Micah 5: 1-3 and 2 Sam 5:2

· Notice that it was the Word of God that gave meaning to the appearance of the star. How often do we go to the Word of God for guidance and direction in our life?

Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage."  

· Why do you think that those who knew the scriptures about the coming of the new king did not themselves go with the Magi to worship him? Knowing the scriptures is not enough if we don’t act on the Word of God.

After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. 

· Bethlehem is six miles south of Jerusalem.

· Why do you think Joseph is not mentioned?

They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

· Gold: He is a King; Frankincense: He is God; Myrrh: in anticipation of his future death.

And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way. 

· How have you experienced God’s guidance in your life?  In what ways have your journey reflected that of the magi? How obedient have you been when you didn’t understand?

· Can one ever go back to the past if they want to grow in holiness?

· What application in your life do you take from this passage? 

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