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

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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!

O ye of little faith (here’s a shot in the arm)

Never one to simply collapse under pressure or discouragement I took up the challenge to assemble the Biblical evidence as to Jesus’ Divinity. It is remarkably rich and consistent throughout all the New Testament Books as you shall see. In this article I give the scripture citations for the most part but cannot include most of the texts in the article since they are so numerous that they would eclipse the article itself. Perhaps at some point in the future I will publish a version with all the citations spelled out. For now, let these suffice to show forth a glorious Scriptural affirmation of the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He is Lord.

1. Clearly this is a dogma of the Faith (de Fide). The divinity and divine Sonship of Jesus is expressed in all the creeds. This is perhaps most clearly stated in the Athanasian Creed (Quicumque):”…we believe and confess that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is God and man. He is God begotten of the substance of the Father before all ages and man born in time of the substance of His Mother. He is Perfect God and perfect man.”

2. There are many passages in the Old Testament that express the qualities of the coming Messiah, among them are some very exalted titles:

  • a prophet – (Dt. 18:15,18)
  • a priest – (Psalm 109:4)
  • a shepherd – (Ez 34:23ff)
  • King and Lord – (Ps 2; Ps 44; Ps 109; Zach 9:9)
  • a suffering servant – (Is. 53)
  • the Son of God – (Ps 2:7; 109:3)
  • God with us (Emmanuel) – (Is 7:14; Is 8:8)
  • Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of the world to come, Prince of Peace – (Is 9:6)
  • Eternal King – (Dan 7:14)

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Israel already has that of which the Obama administration can only dream: no constitution to worry about!

The modern state of Israel has NO constitution

To propose a constitution, in other words, is to ask the question: What form of sovereignty is higher than that of the present voters? America’s Founders appealed to “nature and nature’s God.” Judaism has an answer to this question, elaborated in the oral and written Torah—however remote they appear, at first consideration, from the practical requirements of the state of Israel.

Judaism is founded on a covenant between God and Israel. Instead of unilaterally imposing his will on Israel, God enters into a relation of mutual obligations with a people. This relation is, in content, not only religious but political and legal, and it is understood in this fashion in the Bible and rabbinic literature, where God is called “the King of all Kings” perhaps more often than by any other appellation.

God, moreover, exercises his kingship through proxies. There are three religious institutions and persons in the biblical polity who are divinely sanctioned: the king, the prophet, and the high priest. But of these three offices, only the term king is routinely applied to human beings as well as to God. This is noteworthy because, of the three, the prophet and high priest hold religious functions while the office of king is largely secular. In the presence of a human king, the following blessing is recited: “Blessed are You, Hashem, our God, King of the Universe, Who has given of His glory to flesh and blood.” A human king thus participates in the glory of God. To see a human king is, in a sense, to see a proxy for God.

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Why was Joseph’s ancestry included in Jesus’ genealogy in the Bible unless it was Jesus’ actual bloodline?

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Q: Why was Joseph’s ancestry included in Jesus’ genealogy in the Bible unless it was Jesus’ actual bloodline?

A: From a legal standpoint,  in terms of Mosaic Law, Joseph’s relationship to Jesus was significant.

Joseph’s genealogy is that of an in-law or “as supposed” as the scriptures typically say. And it’s included to provide a complete picture.

Tracing Mary’s line, we find her father (Joachim) was a descendant of King David, and her mother (Anna) was descended from Aaron, the line of priests.

That would make Jesus not only Messiah and God, but also a King and a Priest.

Doesn’t that make you feel better now?

SpeakOut Illinois Conference-01/31/2009

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Download the Conference Flyer

Christ the King of Humanity

 

From Matt C. Abbot’s column at Renew America:

The following essay, written by Monsignor R. Michael Schmitz, vicar general and U.S. provincial superior of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, is reprinted (with permission) from the Winter 2008 issue of Catholic Men’s Quarterly.

Christ the King of Humanity

Submitted by Nancy W.

For the Vatican, King Abdullah Matters More than 138 Muslim Scholars

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For the Vatican, King Abdullah Matters More than 138 Muslim Scholars

ROMA, March 31, 2008 – The accusations directed against Benedict XVI for baptizing a convert from Islam, Magdi Cristiano Allam, at the Easter vigil – as reported in an article from http://www.chiesa three days ago – has elicited two responses, direct and indirect, from the Holy See.

The Holy See expressed its point of view in a direct way in “L’Osservatore Romano” for March 25-26, with a note by the newspaper’s director, Giovanni Maria Vian. And again with a statement on Vatican Radio, March 27, by its director, Fr Federico Lombardi.

But even more interesting are the indirect ways in which the Holy See rebutted the criticisms, during those same days.

For more click here:

Why Do Catholics Consider the Virgin Mary To Be An Intercessor?

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Q: Why do Catholics consider the Blessed Virgin Mary to be an intercessor?

Isn’t Mary just a created human person, like all the rest of us? And according to the Bible, isn’t Jesus the ONE intercessor between God and man?

Please explain.

A: Since you mentioned the Bible, crack your Bible open to Genesis 3:15. There you’ll see God’s very first promise to fallen mankind, and there you’ll find the first reference to “the woman” whose “seed” would someday crush the head of the serpent. 

People insist on their own intepretation of things, but one thing is certain … Mary is that “woman” … Mary said “yes” when God sent Gabriel to ask her to be the mother of his divine son … and some 9 months hence … Jesus did indeed emerge from Mary’s blessed womb.

Mary remained Jesus’ mom, and his first, best, and most constant disciple, ever since … and if that’s not a selfless act of intercession on behalf of all mankind (second only to God’s) than I don’t know what is.

Furthermore … anyone who expects Jesus to ignore this fact, and merely “discard” his mother Mary, once she had served her purpose, doesn’t know God! 

But there’s more. Go to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verse 32.

Gabriel explains to Mary precisely WHO her son will be. One of his titles is the eternal King of the Royal House of Israel. And since Mary will ALWAYS be Jesus’ mom, Mary will ALWAYS remain the mother of the King.

According to the practices of the Royal House, first established by King David, later observed and followed by King Solomon, and ratified by God, through the authentic scriptures, the MOTHER of the King is the QUEEN, and the official duty of the Queen of the Royal House is to intercede with the King, on behalf of the people.   

Meet me at the 1st Book of Kings, Chapter 2, beginning with verse 12, for the proof.

Witness a disgruntled and powerless Adonais approaching Bathsheba, the Queen Mother, asking her to intercede for him, with  King Solomon. Then, witness the way the Queen is subsequently received:

The Queen enjoys unrestricted access to the King.

As the Queen approaches, the King sets up a throne for her, at this right hand.

He bows, and gives her his undivided attention. 

Those familiar with the Ten Commandments might recognize this as “Honor your Father and your Mother.”

In verse 24, we see Solomon acting on his mother’s request … but not in the way Adonais had expected. Adonais will be put to death!

There’s nothing in the rules that says the King must grant his mother’s request! 

Catholics rightly understand that these Old Testament events prefigure the grace-filled, New Testament reality.

In the New Testament, Jesus works a miracle at Cana, simply because his mother (the woman) asks, while one of the enduring promises of Christ is that all the faithful will rule and reign with him, in eternity.

It was Jesus who clearly stated that he is the God of the living, and not the dead … and that Abraham was able to “see” his coming, and was glad.

For these and other very good reasons, Catholics believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen Mother of the House of Israel, and the mother of Jesus Christ, is also alive and in Heaven, ruling and reigning with Jesus, the Eternal King of the Ages, just as he promised.