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January 3rd, 2010 A.D. Feast of the Epiphany

Catholic Homilies
January 3rd, 2010 A.D.

Feast of the Epiphany

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January 3rd, 2010 A.D. Feast of the Epiphany


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 In this year's readings the whole story of the Epiphany is told. Next week we read the story of the second manifestation of the Divinity of Jesus at his Baptism and the following Sunday - "Cana Sunday" we witness the third manifestation at the Marriage Feast in Cana. Today we hear about the first manifestation to the "Magi" or "kings" who were more likely astrologers.

 They tell us a story of Jesus coming for all humankind, a story with richer and deeper implications today than at the time of the Gospels. Despite our tradition of Caspar, Beltassar, and Melchior, the Greeks and the Russians hold that there were twelve kings. Since there were twelve tribes of Israel and twelve apostles, they argue that there had to be twelve kings.

 Our tradition of three is based on the fact that three gifts were mentioned. No matter how many of them there were, they were men who, as the carol says, had the courage to follow their star.

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 Once upon a time, there were three young women, best friends since their early school days. They were bright, imaginative and very creative young women who in the eyes of their peers seemed a "bit different." In their high school days, their peers considered this difference a sign of weirdness, and thus an excuse for excluding them from all the cool things that the "in crowd" did. Some wondered why they wanted to spend so much time studying or doing volunteer things or reading or, God forbid, going to the symphony instead of rock concerts.

 At times, the three friends were hurt by the words and actions of their peers. But, being women who dreamed great dreams, they couldn’t give up the things that challenged them to want something more, even when they weren’t sure what that more was. Imagine the surprise of their peers when at their ten year reunion, the three were the most successful members of their class, had traveled widely, had charming escorts and were up and coming stars in their careers.

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Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13

1 Give the king thy justice, O God, and thy righteousness to the royal son!
2 May he judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with justice!
7 In his days may righteousness flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more!
8 May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth!
10 May the kings of Tar shish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba  bring gifts!
11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!
12 For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.

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 Ever after, it is said, Babushka has followed after them. Whenever she finds a new born babe, she looks to see if he is the little prince. Even if he (or in our days she too) is not there, Babushka leaves a toy for the child. I think she probably found the prince early on, but we still should learn from her lesson: we should never let the important interfere with the essential.
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