Posted by: fvbcdm | January 6, 2015

Feast of Saint Andre Bessett (6 Jan 2015)

When you drop a pebble into a quiet pond, it causes ripples to form on the surface of the water, and those ripples travel in ever-widening circles until they come to the banks in all directions.

When our heavenly Father sent his divine Son into the world to be our Redeemer, his coming was something like that. The first one to know about the coming of the Savior was Zachary, the father of Saint John the Baptist. Then his wife Elizabeth. Then the annunciation was made to Our Blessed Mother that she was being asked to be the Mother of the Lord. Then Saint Joseph was told. At the time of the birth of Our Lord, the shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem were informed of the arrival of the Savior. Then the two old people, Simeon and Anna, in the temple when the 40-day-old infant Jesus was brought there for his presentation to the Lord. Pagan magi, or astronomers, were led by a star to the newborn child, born to be King of Israel. Then, at the beginning of Our Lord’s public life, Saint John the Baptist receives divine assurance that Jesus is the promised Savior, and shortly thereafter, Jesus reveals his divine power to his followers by changing water into wine at a wedding feast at Cana in Galilee, near his home town of Nazareth.

Last Sunday, we had the solemnity of Epiphany; the word is from the Greek, and means “manifestation.” It includes all the events that I have just mentioned, and is actually an even older celebration than Christmas in our church calendar. For ages, it was celebrated on January 6th, the 12th day after Christmas. Thus it has been called “Twelfth Night” or “Little Christmas” and in many Christian countries, it is the Magi who bring gifts to children on the feast of the Epiphany rather than Saint Nicholas on December 6th or Santa Claus on December 25th.

So that more of us can celebrate this great feast of the gradual manifestation and revelation of Christ to the world, the Church has just recently changed its day of celebration to the Sunday after New Year’s Day. But now, the baptism of Jesus and the miracle at Cana have been separated from the coming of the Magi so that each can be celebrated with greater focus.  So last Sunday we had the solemnity in which we find both Jew and Gentile kneeling at the feet of the newborn Christ, and we see the astronomers from the east, who represent us of the Gentile world, prostrating themselves before Jesus whom they find “with Mary his mother,” and offering him princely gifts to indicate his royal character.

Let us do our best to prostrate ourselves in mind if not in body before our divine Lord in the form of a newborn Baby, and offer him the gift of our hearts, our devotion, our love. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note: This message was composed some years ago.

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