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The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!

 

Mass Readings with pictures can be found in Encouragements-182 - 183 or Encouragements-350. 8-)

Liturgical Colour: White

 

Others:

Matthew Chapter 2 (video)

Epiphany (Watch this cute animation 8-D)

Bring Your Gifts - Epiphany

The Fourth Wise Man (1985) Movie

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Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli

 

A. Pope Saint John Paul II

 

Homily, 6 January 1997

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-557. 8-)

 

Angelus, 6 January 1997

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-558. 8-)

 

Homily, 6 January 1998

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-558. 8-)

 

Angelus, 6 January 1998

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-559. 8-)

 

Homily, 6 January 1999

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-351. 8-)

 

Angelus, 6 January 1999

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-559. 8-)

 

Homily, 6 January 2000

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-559. 8-)

 

Angelus, 6 January 2000

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-560. 8-)

 

Homily, 6 January 2001

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-560. 8-)

 

Homily, 6 January 2002

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-351. 8-)

 

Angelus, 6 January 2002

 

Homily, 6 January 2003

 

Angelus, 6 January 2003

 

Angelus, 6 January 2004

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-352. 8-)

 

Angelus, 6 January 2005

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-352. 8-)

 

B. Pope Benedict XVI

 

Homily, 6 January 2006

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-352. 8-)

 

Angelus, 6 January 2006

 

Homily, 6 January 2007

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-353. 8-)

 

Angelus, 6 January 2007

 

Homily, 6 January 2008

 

Angelus, 6 January 2008

 

Homily, 6 January 2009

 

Angelus, 6 January 2009

 

Homily, 6 January 2010

 

Angelus, 6 January 2010

 

Homily, 6 January 2011

 

Angelus, 6 January 2011

 

Homily, 6 January 2012

 

Angelus, 6 January 2012

 

Homily, 6 January 2013

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-183. 8-)

 

Angelus, 6 January 2013

 

C. Pope Francis I

 

Homily, 6 January 2014

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-353. 8-)

 

Angelus, 6 January 2014

 

Homily, 6 January 2015

See our compilation with pictures in Encouragaments-561. 8-)

 

Angelus, 6 January 2015

 

Homily, 6 January 2016

 

Angelus, 6 January 2016

 

Homily, 6 January 2017

 

Angelus, 6 January 2017

 

Homily, 6 January 2018

 

Angelus, 6 January 2018

 

Homily, 6 January 2019

The light of God shines on those who receive it. Isaiah, in the first reading (cf. 60:2), tells us that that light does not prevent the darkness and the thick clouds from covering the earth, but shines forth on those prepared to accept it. And so, the prophet addresses a challenging summons to everyone: “Arise, shine” (60:1). We need to arise, to get up from our sedentary lives and prepare for a journey. Otherwise, we stand still, like the scribes that Herod consulted; they knew very well where the Messiah was born, but they did not move. We also need to shine, to be clothed in God who is light, day by day, until we are fully clothed in Jesus. Yet to be clothed in God, who like the light is simple, we must first put aside our pretentious robes. Otherwise, we will be like Herod, who preferred the earthly lights of success and power to the divine light. The Magi, instead, fulfil the prophecy. They arise and shine, and are clothed in light. They alone see the star in the heavens: not the scribes, nor Herod, nor any of the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

 

In order to find Jesus, we also need to take a different route, to follow a different path, his path, the path of humble love. And we have to persevere. Today’s Gospel ends by saying that the Magi, after encountering Jesus, “left for their own country by another road” (Matthew 2:12). Another road, different from that of Herod. An alternative route than that of the world, like the road taken by those who surround Jesus at Christmas: Mary and Joseph, the shepherds. Like the Magi, they left home and became pilgrims on the paths of God. For only those who leave behind their worldly attachments and undertake a journey find the mystery of God.

 

This holds true for us too. It is not enough to know where Jesus was born, as the scribes did, if we do not go there. It is not enough to know that Jesus was born, like Herod, if we do not encounter him. When his place becomes our place, when his time becomes our time, when his person becomes our life, then the prophecies come to fulfilment in us. Then Jesus is born within us. He becomes the living God for me. Today we are asked to imitate the Magi. They do not debate; they set out. They do not stop to look, but enter the house of Jesus. They do not put themselves at the centre, but bow down before the One who is the centre. They do not remain glued to their plans, but are prepared to take other routes. Their actions reveal a close contact with the Lord, a radical openness to him, a total engagement with him. With him, they use the language of love, the same language that Jesus, though an infant, already speaks. Indeed, the Magi go to the Lord not to receive, but to give. Let us ask ourselves this question: at Christmas did we bring gifts to Jesus for his party, or did we only exchange gifts among ourselves?

 

If we went to the Lord empty-handed, today we can remedy that. The Gospel, in some sense, gives us a little “gift list”: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold, the most precious of metals, reminds us God has to be granted first place; he has to be worshiped. But do that, we need to remove ourselves from the first place and to recognize our neediness, the fact that we are not self-sufficient. Then there is frankincense, which symbolizes a relationship with the Lord, prayer, which like incense rises up to God (cf.  Psalm 141:2). Just as incense must burn in order to yield its fragrance, so too, in prayer, we need to “burn” a little of our time, to spend it with the Lord. Not just in words, but also by our actions. We see this in the myrrh, the ointment that would be lovingly used to wrap the body of Jesus taken down from the cross (cf. John 19:39). The Lord is pleased when we care for bodies racked by suffering, the flesh of the vulnerable, of those left behind, of those who can only receive without being able to give anything material in return. Precious in the eyes of God is mercy shown to those who have nothing to give back. Gratuitousness! Gratuitousness is precious in God’s eyes.

 

In this Christmas season now drawing to its close, let us not miss the opportunity to offer a precious gift to our King, who came to us not in worldly pomp, but in the luminous poverty of Bethlehem. If we can do this, his light will shine upon us.

Pope Francis I (Homily, 6 January 2019)

 

Angelus, 6 January 2019

Today, the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, is the celebration of the manifestation of Jesus, symbolized by light. In the prophetic texts this light is a promise: light is promised. Isaiah, in fact, addresses Jerusalem with these words: “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you” (60:1). The prophet’s invitation — to arise because the light has come — seems surprising, because it occurs in the aftermath of the harsh exile and of the numerous oppressions that the people have experienced.

 

Today this invitation also resonates for us, who have celebrated the Birth of Jesus, and it encourages us to allow ourselves to be reached by the light of Bethlehem. We too are invited not to stop at the outward signs of the event, but to set out from it once again and to undertake anew the experience of our journey as men and women, and as believers.

 

The light that the Prophet Isaiah had foretold, is present and encountered in the Gospel. And Jesus, born in Bethlehem, the City of David, has come to bring salvation to those near and far: to everyone. Matthew the Evangelist reveals various ways by which one can encounter Christ and react to his presence. For example, Herod and the scribes of Jerusalem have a hard heart, which obstinately refuses the visit of that Child. This is one possibility: to be closed to the light. They represent those who, even in our day, fear Jesus’ coming and close their heart to brothers and sisters who need help. Herod is afraid of losing power and does not consider the true good of the people, but rather his own personal advantage. The scribes and the chief priests of the people are afraid because they do not know how to look beyond their own certainties; they are thus unable to understand the newness that is in Jesus.

 

Instead, the experience of the Magi is quite different (cf. Matthew 2:1-12). Having come from the East, they represent all the faraway peoples of the traditional Hebrew faith. Yet they allow themselves to be guided by the star and face a long and perilous journey just to arrive at the destination and to know the truth of the Messiah. The Magi were open to ‘novelty’, and history’s greatest and most surprising novelty is revealed to them: God-made-man. The Magi prostrate themselves before Jesus and offer him symbolic gifts: gold, incense and myrrh, because seeking the Lord entails not only perseverance on the journey but also generosity of heart. And lastly, they returned “to their own country” (v. 12); and the Gospel states that they returned “by another road”. Brothers and sisters, each time that a man or woman encounters Jesus, he or she changes paths, returns to life in a different way, returns renewed, “by another road”. They returned “to their own country”, bearing within them the mystery of that humble and poor King; we can imagine that they told everyone about the experience they had had: the salvation offered by God in Christ is for all mankind, near and far. It is not possible to “take possession” of that Child: he is a gift for all.

 

Let us also have a bit of silence in our heart and allow ourselves to be illuminated by the light of Jesus that comes from Bethlehem. Let us not allow our fears to close our hearts, but let us have the courage to open ourselves to this light that is meek and delicate. Then, like the Magi, we will feel “great joy” (v. 10) that we will be unable to keep to ourselves. May the Virgin Mary — star who guides us to Jesus and Mother who shows Jesus to the Magi and to all those who approach her — support us on this journey.

Pope Francis I (Angelus, 6 January 2019)

 

Homily, 6 January 2020

Extracts:

In the Gospel (Matthew 2:1-12), we heard the Magi begin by stating the reason why they have come: “We have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him” (v. 2). Worship is the end and goal of their journey. Indeed, when they arrived in Bethlehem, “they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him” (v. 11). Once we lose the sense of worship, we lose our direction in the Christian life, which is a journey towards the Lord, not towards ourselves. The Gospel warns us about this risk, for alongside the Magi it presents others who are incapable of worship.

 

First of all, there is King Herod, who uses the word worship, but only to deceive. He asks the Magi to tell him where the child is to be found, “so that I too may come and adore him” (v. 8). The fact is that Herod worshiped only himself; that is why he wanted to rid himself of the child through a lie. What does this teach us? That when we do not worship God, we end up worshiping ourselves. So too, the Christian life, when it fails to worship the Lord, can become a discreet way of affirming ourselves and our own abilities: Christians who do not know how to worship, who do not know how to pray by worshiping. This is a grave risk: we use God instead of serving him. How many times have we confused the interests of the Gospel with our own? How many times have we cloaked in religiosity the things we find convenient? How many times have we confused God’s power, which is for serving others, with power of this world, which is for serving ourselves!

 

In addition to Herod, other people in the Gospel are incapable of worship: they are the chief priests and the scribes. They tell Herod with great precision where the Messiah is to be born: in Bethlehem of Judea (cf. v. 5). They know the prophecies and can quote them exactly. They know where to go – they are great theologians, great! – but they do not go there. Here too we can draw a lesson. In the Christian life, it is not enough to be knowledgeable: unless we step out of ourselves, unless we encounter others and worship, we cannot know God. Theology and pastoral effectiveness mean little or nothing unless we bend the knee; unless we kneel down like the Magi, who were not only knowledgeable about planning a journey, but also capable of setting out and bowing down in worship. Once we worship, we come to realize that faith is not simply a set of fine doctrines, but a relationship with a living Person whom we are called to love. It is in encountering Jesus face to face that we come to see him as he is. Through worship, we discover that the Christian life is a love story with God, where what really matters is not our fine ideas but our ability to make him the centre of our lives, as lovers do with those whom they love. This is what the Church ought to be, a worshiper in love with Jesus her spouse.

Pope Francis I (Homily, 6 January 2020)

 

Angelus, 6 January 2020

We celebrate the Solemnity of Epiphany in memory of the Magi who went to Bethlehem from the Orient, following the star, in order to visit the newborn Messiah. At the end of the Gospel story, it says that the Magi, “being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, ... departed to their own country by another way” (Matthew 2:12). By another way.

 

After traveling a long time, these wise men from distant lands find the one they wished to meet, after seeking him for so long, undoubtedly through exertion and danger. And when they finally reach their destination, they prostrate before the Child, they praise him and offer him their precious gifts. After that, they resume their journey without delay to return to their lands. But that encounter with the Child has changed them.

 

The encounter with Jesus does not hold back the Magi. Indeed it instills in them a renewed thrust to return to their countries to recount what they had seen and the joy they had felt. There is a demonstration of God’s style in this, of his way of manifesting himself in history. The experience of God does not block us, but frees us. It does not imprison us, but rather puts us back on a journey and delivers us to the familiar places of our lives. The places are and will continue to be the same. However, after the encounter with Jesus, we are no longer the ones we were. The encounter with Jesus changes us, transforms us. The Evangelist Matthew highlights that the Magi returned “by another way” (v. 12). They were led to change their path after the angel’s warning, so as not to run into Herod and his network of power.

 

Each experience of encounter with Jesus leads us to take a different road because from him comes a good power that heals the heart and separates us from evil.

 

There is a wise dynamic between continuity and newness: the Magi return “to their own country” but “by another way”. This indicates that we are the ones who have to change, to transform our way of living albeit in our everyday environment, to modify our criteria of judgment over the reality that surrounds us. Here lies the difference between the true God and treacherous idols such as money, power, success ... between God and those who promise to give you these idols such as clairvoyants, fortune-tellers, sorcerers. The difference is that idols tie us to them, they make us idol-dependent and we take possession of them.

 

The true God does not hold us back, nor does he allow himself to be held back by us. He opens paths of newness and freedom because he is the Father who is always with us so that we can grow. If you encounter Jesus, if you have a spiritual encounter with Jesus, remember you must always return to the same places but by another way, with another style. It is so. It is the Holy Spirit that Jesus gives us that changes our hearts. Let us ask the Blessed Virgin that we may become witnesses of Christ wherever we are, with a new life transformed by his love.

Pope Francis I (Angelus, 6 January 2020)

 

Christmas, 2020

 

Feast of the Holy Family, 27 December 2020

 

Homilies 2020

 

Angelus / Regina Caeli 2020

 

Audiences 2020

 

 

Daily Blessings to You from Emmanuel Goh & Friends

 

Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.

This Publication is aimed to encourage all of Goodwill around the World. It is not for business or profit purposes but it is our way to thank our Creator for His continuous blessings!

 

Compiled on 6 January 2019

Last updated: 6 January 2021, 23:50 SGT

 

 

The Feast of the Holy Family, Year A, 29 December 2019

 

 

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