January 8, 2012: Epiphany of the Lord
Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity
First Reading: Isaiah 60: 1-6
Second Reading: Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6
Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Psalm 72 paragraphs 377 and 378
“…the king is presented as the one who renders just judgments and abhors iniquity…, who judges the poor with equity…and is a friend to those with a pure heart…There is a gradual unfolding of the proclamation of what the Gospels and other New Testament writings see fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, the definitive incarnation of what the Old Testament foretold about the figure of the king.” paragraph 378
The magi were migrants seeking to return home with a new resolve from a bright, rising star heralding a prophetic king. Jesus, just days from the serenity of Mary’s womb, would become an immigrant on a journey to Egypt to avoid the wrath of leaders enthroned in violence. Each of us are immigrants searching diligently for peace, as we are guided by the residual illumination from the star of Bethlehem that leads us from the darkness of despair to the light of hope.
In the Divine plan, the magi arrived and opening their treasures offered gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Were the gifts received by Mary and Joseph or did they humbly say this is too extraordinary and declined the offer? Did they take the gifts and sell them to finance their journey to Egypt? Was the gold placed securely in their cloaks to pay for food and lodging along the way and establish residence in a new land?
When we are given gifts, do we receive with gratitude and share with others to perpetuate blessings and assist those in challenging situations? When the gift is a talent, do we freely give, realizing it is not our own, but to be shared as we migrate through life? We are all immigrants entrusted with stewardship, of all our God given gifts, as copartners in the promise of Christ Jesus. Gifts offer us the opportunity to magnify opportunities, define a new direction and in seeking the star affirm the quest of all migrants. For the migrant is not the other, those people, but all humanity from every nation on earth.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 2: 1-12
Visit the USCCB website to learn more about National Migration Week, share the information with friends and ask that the material be referenced in your parish bulletin: www.usccb.org/about/migration-and-refugee-services/national-migration-week/index.cfm
Family Reflection: Psalm 72
This year’s theme for National Migration Week focuses on the Road to Emmaus theme. Talk about seeing the gifts immigrants offer.
The reflection maybe reproduced in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concerns.