Saint Luke’s Presentation narrative effectively puts the lie to the recently popular “Late Epiphany Theory”

Presentation-in-temple

Today we hear the Gospel of Luke proclaimed, where we are treated to pertinent details of the Lord’s Presentation in the Temple, under the Mosaic Law, 40 days after Christmas:

And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons: And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon: and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Ghost was in him. And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, He also took him into his arms and blessed God and said Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace: Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel. And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser. She was far advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow until fourscore and four years: who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord: and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth. (Luke 2:22-39)

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As of late, nearly every Christmas, we’re told by highly educated “experts” and “specialists” that the Magi/Wise Men didn’t make it to Bethlehem for a year or two after the birth of Christ, and that the Holy Family was likely living in a rented/borrowed house there when the Magi finally arrived.

Yet here we have Saint Luke, who had earlier testified, in writing, that everything he wrote was true, eye-witness testimony, told in the correct order:

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration of the things that have been accomplished among us, According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word: It seemed good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been instructed.  (Luke 1:1-4)

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The Gospel of Saint Luke clearly states that Jesus was duly presented at the Temple 40 days after birth, according to the Law, and the Holy Family returned to Nazareth immediately afterward.

Catholic Tradition holds that the Magi arrived very shortly after the birth of Jesus – probably a couple of weeks (or less) after the blessed event. Not months or years later!

So, who are we to believe? Late-day progressive Bible critics who generally scoff at the concept of divine inspiration and supernatural inerrancy – or contemporary eye-witnesses to the actual events and circumstances in the life of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and others?

What do you think? 

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!

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