Gospel Reflection Jan 2 – Deacon Frank
Sunday, January 2
The Epiphany of the Lord
Mt 2: 1-12
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi 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.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes 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.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.
Historians of art have written over the years that while Michaelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel he missed something — he got off to a bad start. After two panels of the original scale were painted, he realized that he needed to make the figures larger. In the remaining panels, that’s what he did. Even Michaelangelo, the great artist, needed to go back and fix his mistakes.
Did you miss something this past week? Look back at all that happened in your Christmas celebration. For some of us, there were great family gatherings, maybe that perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for teenager, as well as excellent meals with plenty of food, drink, and merriment. Yet was there time for reflection at the wonder of it all? While we had eyes for the world’s version of Christmas, we may have missed the holy wonder.
This Sunday as we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, we see that the historical evolution of God’s relationship with us begins with the birth of a child. Epiphany offers us an invitation to meet Christ with eyes wide open to all the wonders that our faith has to offer. Just like Michaelangelo, if we missed something, we could also go back and fix things. An epiphany is a moment of amazing insight. That is why the feast this weekend is about God going beyond choosing more than the Jewish people to help all of us see things more clearly.
As you approach the Lord’s table this Sunday for the first time in 2022, may we all envision the manger – just like the Magi – and see Christ. The bread and wine are both mystery and nourishment. Let us allow this Epiphany to open our eyes to the wonders of Christ.
Happy New Year!
Deacon Frank Iannarino