The astounding manifestation of Our Lord is celebrated in the great Feast of the Epiphany. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Magnanimity so he can commit to greatness as a man of Jesus Christ and by growing in the Virtue of Self-control so he can continually seek the holy excellence of sainthood.
Christmastime – The Epiphany of the Lord – Vigil and Sunday – Cycle ABC – Mt 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 Magi (Wise Men), Jesus, though still an infant, harvests the first fruits of His call to the Gentiles.
Coming from far away pagan lands, the Wise Men are compelled by signs in the heavens to search for and worship the “King of the Jews”; this is strange indeed, for the Wise Men were not Jews and the exceedingly evil half-Jewish Herod was the king of Judea. When Herod and the leaders of Israel heard of the Wise Men’s quest, they were 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 Jewish Scripture prophesized the Christ would be born in Bethlehem (birthplace of King David, meaning “House of Bread”, a prefigurement of the Eucharist).
Rejoicing as they follow the star, the Wise Men find the newborn Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph in a cave near Bethlehem. 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, and fulfilling ancient prophecy (Is 60:1-6), 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 then slays all male children under the age of two in Bethlehem in a wicked and failed attempt to kill Jesus.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
The Epiphany of the Lord provides stunning evidence of His Divinity: God creates the Wise Men with superior intelligence, hunger for Him and the motivation to tirelessly search the stars; God aligns the stars in Heaven to supernaturally guide the Wise Men hundreds of miles to a precise location at a precise time to witness His Incarnation; Jesus’ perfection of Appearance and overwhelming Charisma Awes the Wise Men and they lay face down at the foot of the manger to worship Him.
Commit to greatness as a man of Christ
Realize: In the days before the great Feast of the Epiphany, Christ’s Holy Catholic Church uses Scripture to carefully recall eyewitness accounts which reveal the divinity of Jesus so men accept the reality that God really and truly entered into the Incarnation.
Believe: Reflect upon the great Feast of the Epiphany (CCC 528, 535).
Pray: Almighty Father, King of Creation, help me build the Virtue of Magnanimity (a part of Fortitude) so I accept the awesome and great mission to be one of Your chosen men You use to help build Your Kingdom.
Seek the holy excellence of sainthood
Realize: While in the world, promises are routinely broken and excuses made for not fulfilling obligations, every Catholic man is held absolutely accountable to God to keep the minimum expectations of the Precepts of the Church; failing to do so is a mortal sin.
Believe: Reflect upon Holy Days of Obligation (CCC 1163, 1173, 1195, 2042, 2177, 2180, 2185, 2192-2193).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Discipline, help me build the Virtue of Self-control (a part of Temperance) so I am inspired to seek sainthood, I have the discipline to always give You my best, and I far exceed the minimal obligations of the Precepts to pursue sainthood.