Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Epiphany…Part II

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on January 5, 2009

Greetings!: This is a continuation of an Advent reflection as seen from the eyes of the Mother of the Redeemer, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Please refer to the first post in this series: INTRODUCTION if you are a first time reader.

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Note: In this as in other great mysteries of the Blessed Virgin’s life which she herself described to the mystics, quotations from her own words are printed in italics.

[Biblical Passages will follow in BOLD black print when they apply.]

Chapter 16: Adoration of the Magi… Part II

St. Joseph and an old shepherd now came out of the grotto, and the Magi told him very simply and modestly they had come to worship the newborn King of the Jews and to offer Him their gifts, whereupon Joseph welcomed them… [After] having assembled their gifts and put on their great, white, silk cloaks, they set on the grotto in an orderly procession with their relatives and servants…When Mary knew that the Magi were approaching, she asked St. Joseph to stay at her side as she calmly awaited them…with her Son in her arms, her head and shoulders covered with her veil… [in] perfect modesty and beauty…

After taking off their sandals and turbans, the three Kings entered the grotto. At their first sight of the Mother and Child, they were overwhelmed with reverence and admiration…Then the three Magi simultaneously prostrated themselves very humbly on the ground and fervently worshiped the divine Infant, acknowledging Him as their Lord and Master…

When they arose, Mary sat down, holding Jesus on her lap… the Queen of heaven and earth said:

“My spirit rejoices in the Lord, because among all the nations He has called you to behold the Eternal Word Incarnate.  Let us therefore praise His Name!”

Then she uncovered the upper part of the Christ Child’s body, and with one hand she supported His head, while she put her other arm around Him. The Infant Jesus had His tiny hands crossed on His chest, as if He were praying, and all His features seemed to radiate joy and love.  Seeing the divine Babe of Bethlehem…the Kings fell on their knees before Him and again adored and worshiped Him.

Their hearts became inflamed with a burning mystical devotion for Him. In a fervent silent prayer they offered to the Christ Child their kingdoms, their peoples, their families, all their possessions, and their own selves…[while] tears of devotion ran down their cheeks…

Then Gaspar took from a purse hanging at his waist a number of small gold bars and laid them at Mary’s feet.  Next the copper-skinned Balthasar placed a golden censer with green incense on a table in front of Jesus. Finally Melchior came forward and left on the table a lovely flowering shrub which gave forth myrrh.

…and going into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. ~Mt 2:11

As each gift was presented, the divine Infant waved His arms in a very lovable way, while Mary nodded with touching humility and spoke a few words of simple heartfelt gratitude to each of the three Kings.

After the Magi had been in the stable for three hours, they withdrew, and their servants were allowed to enter in groups of five…to adore the Child Jesus. Meanwhile, outside the grotto, the Magi and their relatives stood around a great old tree and joyfully chanted their evening prayers.

The next day the Magi generously distributed food, clothing, and money among the needy families of Bethlehem, and they sent their servants to the grotto with many presents which Mary set aside for charity.

When at last they had to leave, the Mother of God allowed each of the Kings to hold the Christ Child in his arms, and as each did so, his face became transfigured with joy and he wept tenderly… Then…Mary suddenly unwound her long veil and handed it to Gaspar. The three Magi bowed before her and gratefully accepted this precious relic, and when they looked up, their hearts were thrilled with reverence and love as they contemplated the full heavenly beauty of both Mother and Child.

After chanting their evening prayers, [for the] Kings planned to return to Jerusalem the following morning, the Kings and their attendants retired for the night – until about midnight when an angel warned them in a dream to leave at once for the East without passing by Jerusalem.

And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. ~Mt. 2:12

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THE BLESSED VIRGIN SAID TO VENERABLE  MOTHER MARY OF AGREDA:

“My daughter, great were the gifts which the Kings offered to my most holy Son, but greater still was the affection which they offered them and the mystery concealed beneath them.

I wish you also to offer up similar gifts. For you, my dearest, that there is no more acceptable gift Most High than voluntary poverty. There are few in the world who use temporal riches well and offer them to their Lord with the generosity and love of those holy Kings.

You too can make such an offering of the things necessary for sustenance, giving a part to the poor.

Your ceaseless offer… must be love, which is the gold; continual prayer, which is the incense; and the patient acceptance of labors and true mortifications, which is the myrrh. All that you do for the Lord, you should offer up to Him with ardent affection.”

[emphasis added]

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What IS Epiphany?

The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world.

The great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with His baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee.

In the magi, representatives of the neighboring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation.

The magi’s coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be king of the nations. (Cf Mt 2:2; Num 24:17-19; Rev 22:16)

Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship Him as Son of God and Savior of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament. (cf. Jn 4:20, 22)

The Epiphany shows that   “the full number of the nations” now takes its “place in the family of the patriarchs,” and acquires Israelitica dignitas (is made “worthy of the heritage of Israel”). ~CCC§528

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This concludes this series of “Advent as See Through the Eyes of Mary”.  I sincerely hope that you enjoyed these readings; and I hope they made a difference in your preparation for the coming of the Christ Child this Christmas Season!  May God Bless you and your families in this New Year of 2009!

Affectionately in the Two Hearts!

~Anne Elizabeth =-)

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