Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – Christmastime – Epiphany Sunday – Matthew 2:1-12
Continuing with the joyous and solemn celebration of Christmastime, Epiphany (from the Greek, meaning “manifestation”) recalls the miraculous fulfillment of God’s promise to draw all nations to the Messiah, the Savior of the World (CCC 527). With the visit of the Wise Men, Christ harvests the first fruits of His call to the Gentiles.
Coming from far pagan lands, the Wise Men are compelled by signs in Heaven to search for and worship the “King of the Jews”; this is strange indeed, for the Wise Men are not Jews and the exceedingly evil half Jewish Herod is the king of the Jewish people. When Herod and the leaders of Israel hear of the Wise Men’s quest, they are afraid. The evil and ignorant Herod asks the pagan Wise Men where Christ is to be born and they quote Jewish Scripture, revealing to the supposedly Jewish Herod that Christ would be born in Bethlehem (birthplace of King David, meaning “House of Bread”, a prefigurement to the Eucharist).
Rejoicing as they follow the star, the Wise Men find the newborn Christ, the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. Filled with awe (divine reverence, fear), the pagan Wise Men fall down on their faces and worship the Jewish child, the Son of God. Not content to simply worship, the Wise Men bring gold (for a king), frankincense (incense for the Divine) and myrrh (anointing for a priest), gifts which will sustain the Holy Family on their escape to Egypt. God directs the Wise Men to not return to the murderous Herod, who will respond by slaying all male children under the age of two in failed attempt to kill Christ.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ’s Nativity is miraculously announced in the stars, drawing pagans from distant lands. Divine King, Christ is recognized as a king, striking fear in the mighty Herod and awe by Wise Men. Divine Mercy, Christ fills the open-hearted with unparalleled and lasting joy. Son of Man, Christ’s needs are miraculously provided for by God the Father through the gifts of the Wise Men.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Consider with awe that God aligns the stars in Heaven to supernaturally direct Wise Men a great distance, at the exact right time, to find the newborn Christ.
2) Sadly, many come into the presence of Christ in the Tabernacle and fail to be awed. Pray that Christ guides you, as He guided the Wise Men, to worship Him in humble awe of His Presence in the Tabernacle at your parish.
3) Pray for Christ to inspire you to sacrifice as the Wise Men did, giving Him gifts from the many gifts He has given you; give generously of your financial bounty.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity
Virtue of the Day – Charity
Corporal Work of Mercy – To feed the hungry
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To admonish the sinner