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January 2nd 2011 - Epiphany Mt 2/1-12 

Catholic Homilies

January 2nd 2011

"They fell down and worshiped Jesus"

Feast of the Epiphany Mt 2/1-12

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Background:

 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" (astrologers is probably a good name for them, though it misses the attempts of these men to produce a science of the stars).

  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 their 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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00spc.gif (820 bytes) Story:

This is the story for those who miss the point.

  (This homily series rarely repeats itself but there is only one story that should be told
on this festival, and that is the magical story of Babuksa)

  Once upon a time there lived in Bethlehem a woman named Babushka. She kept the cleanest and neatest house in town and was also the best cook. She heard rumors of three kings coming across the desert but paid no attention to them because she had so much work to do. Then she heard the sounds of drums and pipes and a cavalcade of riders. She looked out the window and there were three richly dressed kings coming towards her house. They told her that they had come to honor the little prince who had been born in Bethlehem and they needed food and lodging. Babushka cooked a wonderful meal for them, remade all the beds, and wore herself out. The next morning the kings begged her to come with them so she too might see the little prince. Babushka said she would follow after them as soon as she finished the dishes. She cleaned the house again and then took out of a cabinet the toys of her own little prince who had died so long ago. She had no more need of them and would give them to the new little prince. She put them in a basket and sat down for a moment's rest before she followed the wise men.

  Hours later she woke up, grabbed the basket, and rushed into town. But the kings were gone and so was the little prince and his parents. 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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 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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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 Tarshish 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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The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
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Jesus: A Meditation on His Stories and His Relationships with Women
Father Greeley
strips away centuries of false and mistaken interpretations to get at the essential truth of who Jesus really was and what he believed.
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