«We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage»
Epiphany: we come to adore the Lord
The word epiphany means manifestation. Jesus shows himself to all people, from all around the world. The wise men symbolize the diversity of cultures on our planet, which Jesus unites and makes into brothers and sisters. The same is true of the richness of cultures in our parish. Today, Jesus manifests himself in different ways. One of the ways we have is in the Eucharist, where we find his REAL presence.
In the Epiphany, and for 2024, the proposal is twofold: to go to adore the Lord in the holy hour and to feel and be among us brothers and sisters, no matter how different we are among us.
4 ideas you'll love to know about the Three Wise Men
Nowhere in the Bible does it appear that these Wise Men were three, nor are their names mentioned (Caspar, Malchior and Balthazar), but that this idea comes from the Middle Ages, where it was believed that there were only three continents.
The Baby Jesus received gold, incense and myrrh. Gold is the most precious metal, given to kings. In the Bible, we find that gold is the most precious of metals. It is a way of recognizing Jesus as king. Incense is used in different parts of the Bible, in the offerings made to God. With the gift of incense, the magi recognized the divinity of Jesus. Myrrh was a perfume and symbolizes the humanity of Jesus, who became human, like us, to save us. Myrrh anticipates that his dead body was to be anointed in the tomb.
In Spanish-speaking countries, the Three Wise Men are the ones who bring gifts to children. In countries such as Mexico or Spain, the shoes are left at night very clean, under the Christmas tree or on the balcony. Some say that the shoes symbolize the road that must be traveled - just as the Magi did - to find Jesus.
In Spain and México, people eat the traditional rosca de reyes, a large round bread, which symbolizes the eternity of the Lord. In Mexico, a figurine of Baby Jesus is hidden, and whoever finds it must pay for tamales (a type of food) on February 2nd. In Spain, this dessert is also eaten, but two different things are hidden in it: a figurine of the Wise Man and a bean. Whoever finds the figurine is considered lucky and even gets a crown. Whoever finds the bean must pay for the cake.
Blessing our homes on Epiphany
A precious Catholic tradition for this time consists in blessing the houses on Epiphany, by placing the following inscription on the lintel of the door: 20 + C +M + B + 24.
The letters have the following meaning:
They represent the names of the Magi in Latin (Caspar, Malchior and Balthazar), but also the Latin expression Christus Mansionem Bendicat (May Christ bless the house).
The summation signs represent the cross of Jesus, the first 20, the beginning of the year, and the 24th, the end.
This blessing, which can be done by the father of the family or by a priest, is usually done after Mass..
We propose this prayer, extracted from onepeterfive.com, during the chalk marking:
May all who come to our home this year rejoice to find Christ living among us; and may we seek and serve, in everyone we meet, that same Jesus who is your incarnate Word, now and forever. Amen.
God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only-begotten One to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our concern for others may reflect your love. We ask this through Christ our Saviour. Amen.
Loving God, bless this household. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness, and abiding in your will. We ask this through Christ our Saviour. Amen.
Let us adore the Lord and enjoy His company
The exposition of the Most Holy Eucharist, whether with the ciborium or the monstrance, leads us to enjoy and rest in the love of Christ's presence. This is the idea to be carried out during the Epiphany and throughout the year 2024.
When you visit the exposed Blessed Sacrament, we suggest the following reflections and prayer:
Do you know why I am here?
To listen to you, to bless you, to forgive you, to be your friend, to be your confidant.
What do you have to do?
Greet me first:
In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Tell me something nice (thank me, tell me that you love me, tell me why I am important to you), listen to me in silence, do not worry, do not talk to yourself, be quiet, be silent... just look at me so that I can enlighten you.
Now that we have been together for a while, let us pray the prayer that I taught you: Our Father, who art in heaven....
Ask Me for something for yourself, for your family, for your friends, for all humanity. Ask Me calmly, without haste.
Give me all the glory: Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit....
I like to be in your company, here I stay waiting for you, come often.