Sunday Readings and Reflections

The Adoration of the Magi by Edward Burne-Jones (1904)

Sunday, January 2 
Epiphany of the Lord 

Roman Ordinary calendar

St. Gregory Nazianzen

Book of Isaiah 60,1-6.

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. 
See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; But upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. 
Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. 
Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you: Your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses. 
Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, For the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you. 
Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the LORD. 

Psalms 72(71),1-2.7-8.10-11.12-13.

O God, with your judgment endow the king, 
and with your justice, the king’s son; 
He shall govern your people with justice 
and your afflicted ones with judgment. 

Justice shall flower in his days, 
and profound peace, till the moon be no more. 
May he rule from sea to sea, 
and from the River to the ends of the earth. 

The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts; 
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute. 
All kings shall pay him homage,   
all nations shall serve him. 

For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out, 
And the afflicted when he has no one to help him. 
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; 
The lives of the poor he shall save. 

Letter to the Ephesians 3,2-3a.5-6.

Brothers and sisters: You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit, 
(namely, that) the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly earlier. 
which was not made known to human beings in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, 
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 2,1-12.

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.” 
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.'” 
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.” 
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. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

Saint Bruno of Segni (c.1045-1123) 
1st sermon on the Epiphany

Gold, frankincense and myrrh

Guided by the star, the wise men from the East, having arrived in Bethlehem, entered the house in which the blessed Virgin Mother was staying with her child. They opened their treasures, and offered the Lord three gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh – thereby acknowledging him as Lord, true man, and true king. 

Holy Church also offers these same gifts to her Savior every day without ceasing. She offers him frankincense by acknowledging and believing in him, the true Lord and Creator of all. She offers him myrrh when she affirms that he assumed the substance of our flesh, in which he willed to suffer and die for our salvation. And she offers him gold by believing without a doubt that he reigns eternally with the Father and the Holy Spirit. (…) 

Alternatively, the offering of these gifts may be taken in a mystical sense. Heavenly wisdom is symbolized by gold, according to the verse of Solomon, which says: “A priceless treasure lies in the mouth of the sage” (cf. Prv 21:20). (…) By frankincense pure prayer is to be understood, as the psalmist says: “Let my prayer rise like incense in your sight, O Lord” (Ps 141[140]:2). For when our prayer is pure, it yields a purer fragrance to the Lord than the smoke of burning incense, and just as such smoke rises upward, so does our prayer ascend to the Lord. Myrrh can be taken as the mortification of our flesh. Thus we offer the Lord gold when we shine in his sight with the light of heavenly wisdom (…). We offer him frankincense when we send up pure prayer before him, and myrrh when, “mortifying our flesh with its vices and passions” (Gal 5:24) by self-control, we carry the cross behind Jesus.

Traditional Latin Mass Readings for this Sunday

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