Feast of the Epiphany: The gifts of the Magi were both practical and prophetic.

christmas

by Doug Lawrence

The nation of Israel managed to kill every prophet God sent to them. Jesus, the prophesied Messiah, and a prophet in his own right,  would be treated similarly. So the gift of myrrh … typically used to prepare the dead for burial … was indeed both practical and prophetic.

Since the time of Moses and Aaron, the burning of incense in the Tabernacle/Temple had always been a priestly function, and it remains so, even  today. Jesus was and is our heavenly high priest, so the gift of frankincense was indeed both practical and prophetic.

Gold was a gift fit for a king. According to 1st Timothy 6:15, Revelation 17:14 and 19:16, Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Besides, the gold would come in handy for expenses, during the Holy Family’s subsequent flight to Egypt. So, the gift of gold was indeed both practical and prophetic.

The concept of the promised Messiah as the God-man who was also priest, prophet and king is now widely understood, but that certainly was not the case in the Middle East, around the beginning of the 1st century. Yet, on the Feast of the Epiphany, we celebrate the fact that the Magi somehow managed to get it right.

Practical and prophetic, indeed!

Orthodox Christians Celebrate the Epiphany (with a swim!)

View the exciting photo essay.

Date of the Feast of the Epiphany Encompasses Three Major Events In the Life of Christ


These different aspects of the feast are captured within two antiphons found within the Divine Office for today’s feast:

We celebrate a holy day adorned with three mysteries: this day the star led the Magi to the manger; this day wine was made from water at the wedding; this day Christ willed to be baptized in the Jordan by John in order to save us, alleluia.”
— Antiphon for the Magnificat, Second Vespers

“Today the Church hath been joined to her heavenly Spouse, for Christ hath washed away her sins in the Jordan; the Magi hasten with gifts to the royal nuptials, and the guests are gladdened with wine made from water, alleluia.”
— Antiphon for the Benedictus, Lauds

Link

Novena to the Magi in anticipation of the Epiphany


Novena to the Magi in anticipation of the Epiphany:

28 December:

O holy Magi! You were living in continual expectation of the rising of the Star of Jacob, which would announce the birth of the true Sun of justice;

obtain for us an increase of faith and charity, and the grace to live in continual hope of beholding one day the light of heavenly glory and eternal joy.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

29 December:

O holy Magi! who at the first appearance of the wondrous star left your native country to go and seek the newborn King of the Jews;

obtain for us the grace of corresponding with alacrity to every divine inspiration.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

30 December:

O holy Magi! who regarded neither the severity of the season, nor the inconveniences of the journey that you might find the newborn Messiah;

obtain for us the grace not to allow ourselves to be discouraged by any of the difficulties which may meet us on the way of salvation.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

31 December:

O holy Magi, who, when deserted by the star in the city of Jerusalem, sought humbly, and without human respect,

from the rulers of the Church, the place where you might discover the object of your journey;

obtain for us grace to have recourse, in faith and humility, in all our doubts and perplexities to the counsel of our superiors, who hold the place of God on earth.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

1 January:

O holy Magi, who were gladdened by the reappearance of the star which led you to Bethlehem;

obtain for us from God the grace, that, remaining always faithful to Him in afflictions, we may be consoled in time by His grace, and in eternity by His glory.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

2 January:

O holy Magi, who, entering full of faith into the stable of Bethlehem, prostrated yourselves on the earth,

to adore the newborn King of the Jews, though he was surrounded only by signs of poverty and weakness;

obtain from the Lord for us a lively faith in the real presence of Jesus in the blessed Sacrament, the true spirit of poverty, and a Christ-like charity for the poor and suffering.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

3 January:

O holy Magi, who offered to Jesus Christ gold, incense, and myrrh, thereby recognizing Him to be at once King, God, and Man;

obtain from the Lord for us the grace never to present ourselves before Him with empty hands;

but that we may continually offer to Him the gold of charity, the incense of prayer, and the myrrh of penance and mortification.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

4 January:

O holy Magi, who, when warned by an angel not to return to Herd, traveled back to your country be another road;

obtain for us from the Lord, the grace that, after having found Him in true repentance, we may avoid all danger of losing Him again.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

5 January:

O holy Magi, who were first among the Gentiles called to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and who persevered in the faith till your deaths,

obtain for us of the Lord the grace of living always in conformity to our baptismal vows, ever leading to a life of faith;

that like you we may attain to the beatific vision of that God Who now is the object of our faith.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Submitted by Doria2