THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK January 7-13, 2018

baptism-of-jesusFROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER

How far would you travel, by camel at that, to find a new born king of prophesy?  Would you believe an ancient prophesy about a star that would lead you to him?  Would you have the courage to travel through hostile countries and seek a child of foreign ancestry?  This is exactly what the Three Wise Men from the East did over two thousand years ago.  What was so different about the birth of this particular child?  Children were being born to royalty in many places and times. Even King Herod and the chief priests recognized the prophesy in Jewish ancient writings of the birth of a great one. In Isaiah 60: 1-6 a reference to the coming of a “light” and something so glorious that “you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow…”and praises of the Lord” shall resound.  In Micah 5 is the reference to Bethlehem as the place of birth and “to the ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.” We know that the reference to “shepherd” refers to the Lord.

The presence of these Three Wise Kings, who were gentiles, is intentional in God’s plan.  As Paul says in Ephesians 3: 5-6, “…the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and co-partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Probably the gifts they brought aided the Holy Family in their sojourn in Egypt.  We don’t know exactly when the Kings arrived, but it would have been sometimes in the first two years of Jesus’ life.  King Herod had the baby boys up to two years of age killed in the area.

 On Monday the Baptism of Jesus is remembered. It seems strange to jump forward thirty years in Jesus’ life, but the moment of his birth and the entrance into his public life are profound events in his mission on earth.  We will now see the reason for his birth unfold and the momentous impact of his presence in salvation history.  The mystery of the Trinity is revealed during the baptism of Jesus.  The Father proclaims Jesus as his Son and the Holy Spirit descends upon him. Matthew 3: 16-17.

The word “epiphany” means manifestation.  There are four main manifestations of Jesus in Scripture: the birth of Jesus, the visit of the Three Wise Men, the baptism of Jesus and his first miracle at Cana. Of course, there are many other revelations of Jesus’ human and divine natures in Scripture, but these set the scene for all the others.

As we enter this new year of 2018, perhaps we can take to heart the following quote by author unknown:

ACCEPT WHAT IS.

LET GO OF WHAT WAS.

HAVE FAITH IN WHAT WILL BE.

May God bless you with abundant graces,

Sister Rosemarie Goins
Director

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