Mass Theme

January 5th, 2020 ✙ Epiphany of the Lord

Readings for January 5th, 2020

        TODAY WE HEAR AGAIN the story of the wise men who, guided by the light of a star, came to Bethlehem to honor the Christ-child. We too are on a journey, a journey to that heavenly Bethlehem where we hope to meet the Lord face to face.
         We are guided, not by the light of a star, but by the light of faith. Let us ask the Lord to strengthen our faith.
         Lord Jesus, you are the light of the world. Lord, have mercy.
         Lord Jesus, those who follow you will always have the light of life. Christ, have mercy.
         Lord Jesus, you lead us through the darkness of this world to the radiant joy of our eternal home. Lord, have mercy.

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MONDAY, January 6th:✟ JoAnne McGuire
TUESDAY, January 7th: ✟ JoAnn Bonneville, by Jan Weldon
WEDNESDAY, January 8th :Intentions of Alvin & Maria Garcia, by Jan Dusik
FRIDAY, January 10th:✟ Roberta Zetocha, by Jan Weldon

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Reflections

Frankinsense and Myrrh

       The gifts brought by the Magi were both appropriate and expensive. The value of gold is obvious but what of the other presents?
        Myrrh is an aromatic substance made from the sap of Myrtle balsam trees found in India, Africa and Saudi Arabia. It is a natural antiseptic and useful as a medicine. Egyptians used myrrh for embalming mummies. It is now used for toothpaste and mouthwash.
        Incense is a hardened gum that also comes from trees found in the same areas. The word "Frank" comes from an old French word that means "marked." It is a stamp that the incense is "free" from contaminants or "pure". (Franking is still used for free mail rights given to members of Congress.)
        Incense was used primarily to cover up the smells caused by animal sacrifices. Hence it was connected with worship.

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The Magi or Wisemen

       In ancient Iran (Persia) a priest was called a "magus." The plural is "magi". The word "magic" comes from the same root. Magi were experts in astronomy. This was useful in determining the calendar and the end of winter and the spring planting season.
       They believed that stars and other celestial objects actually influenced, rather than merely coincided with, earthly events. One, or possibly a series of omens, led them to believe that a royal prince had been born in Israel.
        They were sent as ambassadors to provide tribute to the newborn. It is assumed that there were three because of the number of gifts.

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Reflections (Continuation)

A Star is Born

        The Magi were led to Christ by the light of a star. But they saw the star only because they were not afraid to travel in the dark.
         The fact is, we cannot see the stars in the bright light of day, but only in the darkness of night; and the darker the night, the brighter they shine.
         In a sense, all of us are night-time travelers. However, we need no longer fear the darkness, because with the coming of Christ, a light has come into the world, a light that shines in the dark, a light that no darkness can overpower.

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Why Do Catholics do That?

Why Celebrate Epiphany?
Epiphany or Manifestation of the Lord reminds us that God in Christ did something remarkable: He extended His grace to those who were originally outside the covenant. As Paul reminds the Ephesians, we were aliens and strangers, but God has made us part of the new Israel. Celebrating Epiphany should help us to understand the grace of God, who has seen fit to include those of us who for centuries seemed to be excluded from the plan for salvation among the chosen people.
Epiphany also focuses our attention on the magi’s response to Christ’s revelation. They worshipped Him and presented Him with rich gifts –
Gold, representing His kingship;
Frankincense, a symbol of His priestly role; and
Myrrh, a prefiguring of His death and embalming.
Christian tradition has set the name of the Magi, or three kings, as Gaspar, Melchor, and Balthazar.
On Epiphany we are reminded that we must worship Christ
by presenting ourselves as gifts to Him. As stewards of God’s gifts, we return to God what is rightfully His.

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Prayer List

Your prayers are requested for these Parishioners and Friends

James Herfindahl John Dell'Amico
Angie Pigoni Barbara Entsisle
Oralee Floria Marilyn Birkett
Barbara Crownover Lori Wise
Barbara J. Ferguson Janet Renon
Penny Davis Jim Mathews
Marian Bryant Sarah Bryan
Randy Bertolucci John McAvoy
Ted Lockett Joe Bonchonsky
Jean Marie Sylwanowicz Joe Spini
Nellie del Nero Kitty Lyons
Sandy Zan Ed Flynn
Rebecca Weston Robert & Cathy Neptune
Lyn Lockett Steve Smith
Rita Heikura Gerardo Rodriguez-Coronado

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