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Sunday, January 3, 2021

 Epiphany Sunday

HOLY NAME OF JESUS-10TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS 

Genesis, Chapter 9, Verse 2

Fear and dread of you shall come upon all the animals of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon all the creatures that move about on the ground and all the fishes of the sea; into your power they are delivered. 

After the Flood that killed all the earth God gives Noah all the animals of the earth for food. Before the flood animals and humans are depicted as vegetarians. In view of the human propensity to violence, God changes the original prohibition against eating meat. However, God did not remake our bodies and many doctors will recommend a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in meats. 

We even see that while the Israelites were in the desert grumbling to Moses and God because in the desert there are few things to eat and they were hungry complaining that they missed the fleshpots of Egypt. God provided for the Israelites by giving them bread from heaven “manna” but told them only to collect enough for one day’s portion as a test of their will and trust in Him. He asks us to be content with one day’s portion, too. Yet, God’s goodness to the Israelites continued for in the evening he sent quails as meat to eat. Our Lord knowing the human condition asked the Israelites to collect a double portion on the 6th day to allow a day of rest. God gave them leisure time, but leisure time is not idle time which creates lethargy and boredom. 

The seventh day is a Holy Day that should be pleasurable because the rest is earned by hard work and earnest effort. Without the work the rest means nothing. Today go out to work in the Lord’s vineyard: doing all things in moderation sharing your daily bread. Take only your portion and give thanks to God. After laboring six days rest on the seventh day; go to Mass and give glory to God.

ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[1] 

CHAPTER I 

DIES DOMINI 

The Celebration of the Creator's Work

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Gn 1:1)

9. The poetic style of the Genesis story conveys well the awe which people feel before the immensity of creation and the resulting sense of adoration of the One who brought all things into being from nothing. It is a story of intense religious significance, a hymn to the Creator of the universe, pointing to him as the only Lord in the face of recurring temptations to divinize the world itself. At the same time, it is a hymn to the goodness of creation, all fashioned by the mighty and merciful hand of God.

"God saw that it was good" (Gn 1:10,12, etc.). Punctuating the story as it does, this refrain sheds a positive light upon every element of the universe and reveals the secret for a proper understanding of it and for its eventual regeneration: the world is good insofar as it remains tied to its origin and, after being disfigured by sin, it is again made good when, with the help of grace, it returns to the One who made it. It is clear that this process directly concerns not inanimate objects and animals but human beings, who have been endowed with the incomparable gift and risk of freedom. Immediately after the creation stories, the Bible highlights the dramatic contrast between the grandeur of man, created in the image and likeness of God, and the fall of man, which unleashes on the world the darkness of sin and death (cf. Gn 3).

Epiphany Sunday

WHAT mystery does the Church celebrate to-day?

She celebrates to-day a threefold mystery:

1. The arrival in Bethlehem of the Wise Men from the East to adore the new-born Savior.

2. The baptism of Jesus in the Jordan.

3. The first miracle of Jesus at the wedding in Cana.

Why is this festival called Epiphany, or the manifestation?

 

Because in the three events just mentioned Jesus manifested Himself not only to the Jews, but also to the gentiles, as the expected Messiah, the Redeemer of the world, and the beloved of His heavenly Father. The Church sings to-day with joy at the Introit, “Behold the Lord, the Ruler, is come, and a kingdom in his hand, and power and dominion” (Mai. iii. 1). “Give to the king Thy judgment, O God, and to the king’s son Thy justice” (Ps. Ixxi. 2).

Prayer.

O God, Who didst on this day reveal Thy only-begotten Son to the gentiles by the guidance of a star, grant in Thy mercy that we, who know Thee now by faith, may be brought to be hold the beauty of Thy majesty.

 

EPISTLE. Is. Ix. 1-6.

Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee: and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes round about and see all these- are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord.

Of what does the prophet here speak?

 

He foretells the future manifestation of the light of the Lord Jesus to Jerusalem, which was a type of the Church, and that by that light the gentiles should enter into the one Church of Christ.

Prayer.

Give praise, O ye heavens, and rejoice, O earth; ye mountains, give praise with jubilation, because the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His poor ones (Is. xlix. 13).

GOSPEL. Matt. ii. 1-12.

When Jesus, therefore, was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of King Herod, behold, there came Wise Men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and are come to adore Him. And King Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him, In Bethlehem of Juda: for so it is written by the prophet: And thou Bethlehem, the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the Captain that shall rule My people Israel. Then Herod, privately calling the Wise Men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them: and sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child: and when you have found Him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore Him. Who having heard the king, went their way: and behold, the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary, His Mother, and falling down, they adored Him: and opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.

Why did the Wise Men come from afar to seek the Savior in Jerusalem?

They lived in Arabia, and had acquired some information of the prophecies of Israel, particularly of the noted prophecy of Balaam, “A star shall rise out of Jacob, and a scepter shall spring up from Israel” (Num. xxiv. IT), which was the more significant to them because they were, as their name denotes, skilled in astronomy. But to these human considerations must be added the light of divine inspiration, as St. Leo says, “The star shone also in their hearts a beautiful example for us to follow, without delay, the inspirations of divine grace, and to do the will of God without fear of men”.

What was the significance of the presents which the Wise Men offered to the Savior?

In offering gold, the Wise Men honored the infant Jesus as King; in frankincense, as God; in myrrh, as suffering Man.

How can we offer to Jesus similar gifts?

We can present Him with gold by giving up to Him what we value most, our will; also, by giving alms in His name to the poor. We can present Him incense in fervent and devout prayers ascending to heaven; and myrrh, by preserving purity of body and soul.

Prayer.

Give to me, O my divine Savior, the faith of these Wise Men; enlighten my understanding with the light which enlightened them; but move my heart also, that I may follow that light, and sincerely seek Thee, and Thee only, Who didst first seek me. Grant that I may find and adore Thee, with the Wise Men, in spirit and in truth, offering to Thee, like them, gold in my obedience and alms, incense in my prayers, myrrh in my penances and mortifications, that, after having brought Thee the offerings of my faith on earth, I may adore Thee in Thy eternal glory. Amen.

Holy Name of Jesus[2]

The Name Jesus as had been foretold by the angel. The feast is meant to impress on us Christians the dignity of the Holy Name. What did a name signify originally? The name should express the nature of a thing. Thus, Adam in paradise gave the animals names in accordance with their being. Among the Jews God's name expressed His essence, Yahweh, i.e., I (alone) am who am (and cause all else to be). The Jews had the highest respect for the name of God, a reverence that finds continuation in the Our Father: "Hallowed be Thy Name." Persons who played prominent roles in the history of salvation often received their names from God Himself. Adam — man of the earth; Eve — mother of all the living; Abraham — father of many nations; Peter — the rock. The Savior's precursor was given the name God assigned him. According to divine precedent, then, the name of the Redeemer should not be accidental, of human choosing, but given by God Himself. For His name should express His mission. We read in Sacred Scripture how the angel Gabriel revealed that name to Mary: "You shall call His name Jesus." And to St. Joseph the angel not merely revealed the name but explained its meaning: "You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." The Messiah should not only be the savior but should be called Savior. With Jesus, therefore, the name actually tells the purpose of His existence. This is why we must esteem His name as sacred. Whenever we pronounce it, we ought to bow our heads; for the very name reminds us of the greatest favor we have ever received, salvation.

Jesus[3]

His name was called Jesus, which was called by the Angel before He was conceived in the womb." LUKE ii. 21.

1. It is not difficult to meditate upon the Holy Name, or to use the Holy Name in prayer. More than any other name, perhaps alone among all proper names, it is appropriate to the One Who owned it. Usually, the names of men are given at random; they mean nothing in themselves; a man who happens to be called John might just as well have been called Thomas or William; the mere name tells us nothing about him; it is a convenient means of distinguishing him from others, a label put upon him and little or no more With a few human beings it has been otherwise: Adam, Abraham, Josue, John the Baptist were given names that signified the men on whom they were bestowed. But with none is this so true as it is with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. With care the Angel impressed it on His Mother's mind: "Thou shalt call His name Jesus," he said, and there followed the description of His future greatness. With care it was repeated to Joseph: Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.

2. The Name stands as a complete summary and description of our Lord's character and office, and it is under this aspect that it has been regarded by thousands of saints, whose hearts have melted at its mere sound. To them Jesus is their God, Jesus is their King, Jesus is their Redeemer, Jesus is their Mediator, Jesus is their Savior, Jesus is their great Priest, Jesus is their Intercessor, Jesus is the Captain under Whom they fight, Jesus is the Leader Whom they follow, Jesus is their Teacher, Jesus is the Giver of their law, Jesus is the Spouse and Shepherd of their souls, Jesus is their Light, Jesus is their Life, Jesus is the Judge before Whom they rejoice to think that they must one day stand, Jesus is their final and eternal Reward, for which alone they live.

3. But He is also to them the mirror of all the most glorious and winning virtues. He is, and His Name tells them that He is, unbounded Charity, infinite Mercy, extremist Kindness, deepest Humility, most devoted Piety, transparent Simplicity, uttermost Poverty, Chastity without a stain. It is the prerogative of love to transform those who love into the likeness of Him Whom they love; and as the mere name of one who is loved cannot sound in the ear or be thought of in the mind without adding to the love which is already there, so the thought of the Holy Name and the mention of the Holy Name have a kind of sacramental power in the hearts of His saints. They seem to convey the grace which enables men to think like Him, to speak like Him, to act like Him, to sacrifice themselves like Him, and to Him, and for Him, and along with Him, to make Him known to others, not by word only, but also by reproduction of Him in themselves, and to win all men to love Him.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within thee bless His Holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all He hath done for thee. Ps. cii. i, 2.

Names are important.[4]

Most of us remember the elementary school playground and the mean names kids called each other. Author and speaker, Kary Oberbrunner, states that we all have a secret name that the One who made us gives us. Oberbrunner said, “My name is Kary, and I have a girl’s name.” He was no stranger to mean names on the playground. He went on to say that each of us has three names:

1.      Our birth name – the name assigned to us when we arrive in this world

2.      Our given names – the names assigned to us as we walk through the world. These names can be positive and negative, ranging from successful, beautiful, star athlete to those names assigned by mean kids, like concentration camp victim, stupid, addict.

3.      Our secret name – the name granted to us by God, Oberbrunner said the problem is our birth names and given names don’t ever fill up the void inside us. We pretend and wear masks.

What would God call you? When Christ called his apostles; He revealed to some of them God’s name for them. Sons of Thunder for John and James and for Simon son of John, He called him Peter which means “Rock”.

 

Christmas Calendar[5]

Read "But the one name that contains everything is the one that the Son of God received in his incarnation: JESUS. The divine name may not be spoken by human lips, but by assuming humanity the Word of God hands it over to us and we can invoke it: "Jesus," "YHWAH saves." The name "Jesus" contains all: God and man and the whole economy of creation and salvation. To pray "Jesus" is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies. Jesus is the Risen One, and whoever invokes the name of Jesus is welcoming the Son of God who loved him and who gave himself up for him. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2666)

Reflect "May he—who did not shrink from taking a beginning like ours—perfect in us his gifts, and may he also make us children of God, he who for our sakes wished to become a child of man." — St. Augustine, Sermons, 184

Pray Today we remember and honor the Most Holy Name of Jesus. Take time to read the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus.

Act Make reading the daily readings a part of your New Year's habits this year.

Today is the tenth day of Christmas the 10 Lord’s a leaping are a sign for the Ten Commandments.

 

Daily Devotions

·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Rosary



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