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Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord - Year A

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Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord - Year A

January 8, 2017


Gospel: Mt 2:1-12
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi (1) 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 (2)." When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes (3) of the people, He inquired of them where the Christ 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(4). And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
The difficult words
(1)Magi are wise men who studied the stars.
(2)Homage is an act of honor and respect.
(3)A scribe is a Jewish scholar an expert in Jewish customs and writings.
(4)Myrrh is a very expensive fragrance that was used for important occasions.
This week’s spotlight
The word “epiphany" comes from a Greek word meaning "manifestation, apparition, or to make one's appearance." Epiphany is one of the main Christian feasts of the year. It is the day that Christians remember the kings or wise men who came from the Orient to Bethlehem to pay homage to the baby Jesus. In doing so, they showed that Jesus is the Messiah not just for Jews, but for the entire human family.
Gold, incense, and myrrh
The wise men (Magi) who come to see Jesus bring him gifts - gold, incense, and myrrh. Gold is a gift that is given to kings. Jesus Christ is a king, but his kingdom is not like other kingdoms - his is the Kingdom of God. They also bring him incense. Sometimes incense is burned during Mass, and its smoke goes up into the air as if it were going right to God. Incense is the sign of the prayer that the wise men say to Jesus. Last of all, they give him myrrh. It is a very precious perfume that people wore at the time of Jesus. In giving this gift, the wise men show how Jesus is truly a human being.
The human family
In this week’s Gospel, the wise men come from far away to adore Jesus. We call them “wise” because they knew how to track the movement of the stars. They noticed the new star that appeared at Jesus’ birth. They were very different from the people of Israel. They probably had different customs, different prayers, different languages, and even very different clothes. There is a legend that says that they were a European, an African, and an Asian. The legend also says that one was an old man, one a middle-aged man, and the third a young man. Thus, the three of them represent all of us, the whole human family on earth. Their visit reminds us that Jesus, even from his birth, came to love the entire human family, to love each of us, no matter where we are from.
Discussion questions
1.Where was Jesus born?
2.Where are the magi from?
3.What precede them to the place where Jesus was born?
4.What did th emagi bring to Jesus?
5.Where do they go after seeing Jesus?
Praying after Communion
After receiving Holy Communion, you can say this prayer silently to yourself. If you have not yet received your First Communion, you can still say this prayer because of your desire to receive Jesus.
Father, through Jesus, in communion with the whole Church, I thank you for coming into my heart. As you guided the Magi to meet your newborn Son, guide me closer and closer to him. May this Communion strengthen me in bearing witness to the joy of knowing you.
This week…
Celebrate your place in the human family
Ask your parents and your grandparents about the areas or countries they originally came from. Are there members of your family who come from a faraway country, who lived in a foreign country, or who did a lot of traveling?
Pray for the great human family
With the help of a world map, choose a different country each day. Cut out a picture from a travel brochure or from a magazine that illustrates your choice and glue it to a big piece of paper. Hang your page up in your prayer corner and say a prayer to the Lord for the people of each country you have chosen.
Word search




Source: usccb.org -  Magnifikid - sermons4kids.comrclblectionary.com –usccb.org/bible/readings-audio.cfm



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