Gospel – Matthew 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.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
528 The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world. The great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. In the magi, representatives of the neighboring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. The magi’s coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be king of the nations. Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship him as Son of God and Savior of the world only by turning toward the Jews and receiving from them the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament. The Epiphany shows that “the full number of the nations” now takes its “place in the family of the patriarchs,” and acquires Israelitica dignitas (are made “worthy of the heritage of Israel”).
From “The Ark of the New Covenant” Testimony of Catalina Rivas (ARK-106:11-12)
11) Out of love I left Heaven for Bethlehem and I left My Father’s bosom for Mary’s bosom. In My Father’s bosom My light is inaccessible; coming out of Him I manifest it, I pour it out, I lavish it, I begin to draw back the veil of so great and consoling a mystery.
12) For the love of the Jews, I reveal Myself to the shepherds and for the love of the gentiles, I reveal Myself to the magi. In this way, the Church forms around My Heart, like surrounding a divine center and at the same time born among the pagans and the Jews, whose destiny will embrace all time and all places.
From “The Great Crusade of Mercy” Testimony of Catalina Rivas (CM-26:66-75)
66) When My time came, I willed to be born in Bethlehem, and I prearranged the Roman census. I intended it as a symbol to somehow bring mankind together for the purpose of making many people aware that I had come to them. But they would not understand and in order to awaken them, the Magi, those wise men who would provoke the research by the Jewish Priests into Scripture, were already on their way towards Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the Priests also remained unaware. Only Mary and Joseph were to be with Me. In fact, there was waiting for Me in Bethlehem the lack of understanding that would be with Me all the way to the Cross.
67) Little children, about My birth, you should learn that to please the Father, it is necessary in a certain way to die, since also in death, if it is similar to Mine, you will find Eternal Life. Which of you is willing to be born by dying? No one would want that if I did not intervene persuasively and energetically. But I know how to make you accept what you might not wish and I do not leave you alone. To each one of you I give the necessary prudence you need, and to all of you: My understanding and compassion.
68) Do not fear the battle, for it is not eternal and, above all, because it is necessary. The man who struggles with himself may win and may lose. What is essential is that he should obtain final victory and you must believe that to obtain that victory, it is necessary to prove one’s own powerlessness. Remember, then, that I guarantee you love even when you may not think you are loved by Me.
69) Look at Me hidden in Mary’s womb. I am already speaking about Myself in silence, waiting, praying for you to the Father. Now I invite you to reflect upon the fact that I willed to be born to make Myself known to you. What joy for Me, and also for you, if you appreciate Me. What strength you will receive if you trustingly welcome Me! Think about Me hidden, but present; present but unseen. Later I will appear to you; do not fear. I will console you and smile upon you.
70) My beloved souls, I do not speak for Myself but for you. Believe Me, I love you! And not a little, but infinitely…
71) Among all created beings, My Mother is the most beloved. This is ancient truth for Christians, but to be able to understand it, the light that is proper to Me would be needed. For that reason, it is good to observe My Mother in what She has done, in what She has said, and in what She has suffered. All those who love Her, listen.
72) Once the news of the census became known, She verified that the voyage to Bethlehem would coincide with the period of Her delivery. This was the first vexation fully accepted by Her. The prophecies and humankind willed that I should be born where Judah had set up his tents. Also I, as Man, could will that My origin should be purely Jewish and besides, of royal ancestry. But the greater the trust of human beings, the greater must be the test I submit them to.
73) When they arrived at Bethlehem, the holy spouses found no lodging. And giving Herself more and more up to Me, Mary adapted to everything. Kings and their mothers enjoy the comforts of Palaces; the King and Queen of Heaven have enjoyed absolute poverty, makeshift housing, the pity of a young girl who took the trouble to procure lodgings for My Mother waiting for Me. Mary does not speak; She waits. But in Her waiting is all the certainty of the Mother of the Creator made Man that nothing essential to Her will be lacking. At first Joseph trembled and then he calmed down. Now the One who had been awaited for centuries could come into the world covered with His splendid garment, a poor baby born in poor conditions, far from comforts, humble to excess.
74) Mary was silent, but moved. Eloé, the woman who procured lodgings for Us was enchanted as she beheld the beauty of My Mother. Joseph, a little withdrawn from Us, felt his heart surging.
75) The hour arrived; Mary rested Her face on Her right hand. An instant and the Son of God came into the world. Men and women, have hope! Salvation is among you! Who does not know that the fairest being was born among you? However, there would be no value in being fair if one does not love. But, can a child show that he loves? This was possible for Me, even while being concealed under the veil of infancy.
Each week we will be presenting a portion of the following Sunday’s readings, and linking it to relevant parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and messages from the Testimony of Catalina. Pay special attention to the italicized underlined sections. This Sunday it is asked, What kind of soil will you be for the word of God? We hope this is inspiring and educational. Any comments you have are certainly welcomed.
Tim Francis prepared this educational program to help you increase your faith and love for the Holy Trinity and our Blessed Mother. His website is http://YouShallBelieve.com
I have known Tim for many years and recommend his work highly. He is a strong advocate for the “The Real Body and Blood Of Jesus” and the numerous miracles that occur on a daily basis. Both of us are greatly inspired by the amazing writings of Catalina Rivas. Catalina is one of the few individuals in history who personally experienced the “Stigmata Of Jesus Christ.”