The Ultra Conservative Catholic

January 3, 2009

Daily Devotions for January 4, 2008

Filed under: Religion-Catholicism — tobinatorstark @ 9:01 pm

Epiphany of the Lord

Isaias 60:1-6 (Douay-Rheims Challoner text)

Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.  For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.  And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes round about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side.  Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the. strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee.  The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and showing forth praise to the Lord

Isaiae 60:1-6 (Biblia Sacra Juxta Vulgatam Clementinam)

Surge, illuminare, Jerusalem, quia venit lumen tuum, et gloria Domini super te orta est. Quia ecce tenebræ operient terram, et caligo populos ; super te autem orietur Dominus, et gloria ejus in te videbitur. Et ambulabunt gentes in lumine tuo, et reges in splendore ortus tui. Leva in circuitu oculos tuos, et vide : omnes isti congregati sunt, venerunt tibi ; filii tui de longe venient
et filiæ tuæ de latere surgent. Tunc videbis, et afflues ; mirabitur et dilatabitur cor tuum : quando conversa fuerit ad te multitudo maris ; fortitudo gentium venerit tibi. Inundatio camelorum operiet te, dromedarii Madian et Epha ; omnes de Saba venient, aurum et thus deferentes, et laudem Domino annuntiantes.

Ephesian 3:2-3, 5-6 (Douay-Rheims Challoner text)

If yet you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me towards you: How that, according to revelation, the mystery has been made known to me, as I have written above in a few words;Which in other generations was not known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit:

Ephesios 3:2-3, 5-6 (Biblia Sacra Juxta Vulgatam Clementinam)

Gratia vobis, et pax a Deo Patre nostro, et Domino Jesu Christo. Benedictus Deus et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, qui benedixit nos in omni benedictione spirituali in cælestibus in Christo. Qui prædestinavit nos in adoptionem filiorum per Jesum Christum in ipsum : secundum propositum voluntatis suæ,  in laudem gloriæ gratiæ suæ, in qua gratificavit nos in dilecto Filio suo

Gospel According to St. Matthew 2:1-12 (Ronald Knox Translation)

Jesus was born at Bethlehem, in Juda, in the days of king Herod. And thereupon certain wise men came out of the east to Jerusalem, who asked, Where is he that has been born, the king of the Jews? We have seen his star out in the east, and we have come to worship him. King Herod was troubled when he heard it, and all Jerusalem with him; so that he assembled all the chief priests and learned men among the people, and enquired of them where it was that Christ would be born. And they told him, At Bethlehem in Juda; so it has been written by the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, of the land of Juda, are far from the least among the princes of Juda, for out of you will arise a leader who is to be the shepherd of my people Israel. Then, summoning the wise men in secret, Herod questioned them closely upon the time of the star’s appearing. And he sent them on their way to Bethlehem, saying to them, Go and enquire carefully for the child, and when you have found him, bring me back word, so that I too may come and worship him. They obeyed the king, and went on their journey; and all at once the star which they had seen in the east was there going before them, till at last it stood still over the place where the child was. They, when they saw the star, were glad beyond measure; and so, going into the dwelling, they found the child there, with his mother Mary, and fell down to worship him; and, opening their store of treasures, they offered him gifts, of gold and frankincense and myrrh. Afterwards, because they had received a warning in a dream forbidding them to go back to Herod, they returned to their own country by a different way.


Evangelium Secundum Matthaeum (Biblia Sacra Juxta Vulgatam Clementinam)

Cum ergo natus esset Jesus in Bethlehem Juda in diebus Herodis regis, ecce magi ab oriente venerunt Jerosolymam, dicentes : Ubi est qui natus est rex Judæorum ? vidimus enim stellam ejus in oriente, et venimus adorare eum.  Et congregans omnes principes sacerdotum, et scribas populi, sciscitabatur ab eis ubi Christus nasceretur. At illi dixerunt : In Bethlehem Judæ : sic enim scriptum est per prophetam : Et tu Bethlehem terra Juda, nequaquam minima es in principibus Juda : ex te enim exiet dux, qui regat populum meum Israël. Tunc Herodes clam vocatis magis diligenter didicit ab eis tempus stellæ, quæ apparuit eis :  et mittens illos in Bethlehem, dixit : Ite, et interrogate diligenter de puero : et cum inveneritis, renuntiate mihi, ut et ego veniens adorem eum.  Qui cum audissent regem, abierunt, et ecce stella, quam viderant in oriente, antecedebat eos, usque dum veniens staret supra, ubi erat puer.  Videntes autem stellam gavisi sunt gaudio magno valde.  Et intrantes domum, invenerunt puerum cum Maria matre ejus, et procidentes adoraverunt eum : et apertis thesauris suis obtulerunt ei munera, aurum, thus, et myrrham.  Et responso accepto in somnis ne redirent ad Herodem, per aliam viam reversi sunt in regionem suam. Audiens autem Herodes rex, turbatus est, et omnis Jerosolyma cum illo.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 724

In Mary, the Holy Spirit manifests the Son of the Father, now become the Son of the Virgin. She is the burning bush of the definitive theophany. Filled with the Holy Spirit she makes the Word visible in the humility of his flesh. It is to the poor and the first representatives of the gentiles that she makes him known

Catechismum Catholicae Ecclesiae 724

In Maria, Spiritus Sanctus Filium Patris manifestat Filium Virginis effectum. Ea rubus est ardens Theophaniae definitivae: ipsa, Spiritu Sancto repleta, Verbum ostendit in humilitatis carnis Eius atque facit ut pauperes et primitiae gentium Illud cognoscant.

Notes on Isaias 60:1-6 (Haydock Bible Commentary)

Ver. 1. O Jerusalem, is not in Hebrew or St. Jerome, but in the Septuagint. Some few things may refer to the terrestrial Jerusalem, though the prophet speaks chiefly of the celestial and of the Church. — Lord, very great. Christ came to save us. (Calmet) — God prevents by his grace, but man must co-operate to be justified. (Worthington)

Ver. 2. People. Babylon shall suffer, while thou art relieved. (Calmet) — The Gentiles continue in darkness till they embrace the faith, ver. 3. (Haydock) — Only those who are in the Church receive the light of truth. (Worthington)

Ver. 3. Rising. The three wise men were the first. [Matthew ii.]

Ver. 4. Rise up. St. Jerome, “suck,” as the Hebrew may imply. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “shall be carried on the shoulders.” (Haydock) — This may refer to the captives and to the Church.

Ver. 5. Wonder. Hebrew and Septuagint in St. Jerome, “fear.” This sensation is often mixed with joy, Matthew xxviii. 8. — Thee. No such nations joined the Jews, as they did the Church.

Ver. 6. Epha. Abraham’s grandson, who dwelt near his father, Madian, in Arabia, which was famous for camels. (Calmet) — Saba. India mittit ebur, molles sua thura Sabæi? (Geor. i.) — The Arabians embraced the gospel, but never brought their treasures to Jerusalem. (Calmet) — The three kings came on swift beasts to adore Christ, and fulfilled his prophecy, Matthew ii. (Worthington)


Notes on Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6 (Haydock Bible Commentary)

Ver. 2. If yet [1] you have heard. If yet doth not imply a doubt, but is the same as, for you have heard the dispensation.[2] This word, dispensation, is divers times taken by St. Paul to signify the manner by which a thing is done, or put in execution; the sense therefore here is, for you have heard how by the grace of God I have been made your apostle. (Witham)

Ver. 3. The mystery, &c. By this mystery, he means what he has already mentioned in the last chapter and what he continues to speak of, to wit, that by the coming of Christ, and the preaching of his gospel, all both Jews and Gentiles, all nations should be united into one Church, by one and the same faith. (Witham) — Mystery, &c. Revelation, the same as he mentions Galatians i. 12.; where speaking of his gospel, he says, For neither did I receive it of man, nor did I learn it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. This revelation seems to have regarded principally three things: 1. The redemption and justification of man by Jesus; 2. the vocation of the Gentiles; and thirdly, a positive command to announce the gospel to them. He speaks particularly of the second and third. (Estius) — Made known to me by revelation, and to the other apostles and prophets. (Witham)

Ver. 5. As it is now revealed.[3] St. Paul, as both St. Jerome and St. Chrysostom take notice, does not absolutely say that this mystery was not known, but only not known as it was afterwards to the apostles. For whether by this mystery we understand the incarnation of Christ, or the uniting of the Jews and Gentiles into one Church, we cannot doubt but both were revealed to Abraham, to David, to many prophets and just men in the time of the law; but now it was revealed and made known to all. (Witham)

Ver. 6. That the Gentiles should be coheirs, &c. This is the mystery which was heretofore unknown, and now revealed. This is what the greatest part of the Jews could never be brought to believe, that the Gentiles should be equally sharers with them of God’s promises and blessings. They were strangely scandalized that St. Peter should receive Cornelius, an uncircumcised man, into the same communion. On the like account they persecuted St. Paul. (Witham)


Notes on St. Matthew 2:1-12 (Haydock Bible Commentary)

Ver. 1. King Herod the Great, surnamed Ascalonite, was a foreigner, but a proselyte to the Jewish religion. St. Jerome. — This city is called Bethlehem of Juda, to distinguish it from another Bethlehem, which was situated in the division of the tribe of Zabulon. (Haydock) Wise men.[1] Both the Latin and Greek text may signify wise philosophers and astronomers, which is the common exposition. The same word is also many times taken for a magician or soothsayer, as it is applied to Simon, (Acts viii. 9,) and to Elymas, Acts xiii, ver. 6. and 8. Some ancient interpreters think these very men might have been magicians before their conversion. See Cornelius a Lapide, &c. — From the east. Some say from Arabia, others from Chaldea, others from Persia. Divers interpreters speak of them as if they had been kings, princes, or lords of some small territories. See Baron. an. i. sect. 29. Tillemont, note 12. on Jesus Christ. The number of these wise men is uncertain. St. Leo, in his sermons on the Epiphany, speaks of them as if they had been three, perhaps on account of their three-fold offerings. What is mentioned in later writers as their names, is still of less authority, as Bollandus observed. There are also very different opinions as to the time that the star appeared to these wise men, whether before Christ’s birth, or about the very time he was born, which seems more probable. The interpreters are again divided as to the year, and day of the year, when they arrived at Bethlehem, and adored the Saviour of the world. Some think not till two years after Christ’s birth. See St. Epiphanius hær. xxx. num. 29. p. 134. And St. Jerome puts the massacre of the Holy Innocents about that time in his chronicle. But taking it for granted that the wise men came to Jerusalem and to Bethlehem the same year that Christ was born, it is not certain on what day of the year they adored him at Bethlehem. It is true the Latin Church, ever since the 4th or 5th age, has kept the feast of the Epiphany on the 6th day of January. But when it is said in that day’s office, This day a star led the wise men to the manger, it may bear this sense only, this day we keep the remembrance of it; especially since we read in a sermon of St. Maximus (appointed to be read in the Roman Breviary on the 5th day within the octave of the Epiphany) these words: What happened on this day, he knows that wrought it; whatever it was, we cannot doubt it was done in favour of us. The wise men, by the 11th verse, found Jesus at Bethlehem, where his blessed mother was to remain forty days, till the time of her purification was expired. And it seems most probable that the wise men came to Bethlehem about that time, rather than within thirteen days after Christ’s birth: for had they come so soon after Christ was born, and been directed to go, and make diligent inquiry at Bethlehem, which was not above five miles from Jerusalem, it can scarcely be imagined that so suspicious and jealous a prince as Herod was, would have waited almost a month for their return without searching for the new-born king. But it is likely, being again alarmed by what happened when Jesus was presented in the temple at his mother’s purification, he thereupon gave those cruel and barbarous orders for the massacre of those innocent infants. (Witham)

Ver. 2. We have seen his star. They knew it to be his star, either by some prophecy among them, or by divine revelation. This star was some lightsome body in the air, which at last seemed to point to them the very place where the world’s Redeemer lay. We know not whether it guided them during the whole course of their journey form the East to Jerusalem. We read nothing more in the gospel, but that it appeared to them in the East, and that they saw it again, upon their leaving Jerusalem to go to Bethlehem. (Witham) — The wise men, in the Syrian tongue maguscha, are supposed to have come from Stony Arabia, near the Euphrates. They might have preserved in this country the remembrance of the prophecy of Balaam, which had announced the coming of the Messias by the emblem of a star, (Numbers xxiv. 17.) which was to arise from Jacob. The star which appeared then, was the symbol of the star which Balaam had predicted. (Haydock)

Ver. 3. Through fear of losing his kingdom, he being a foreigner, and had obtained the sovereignty by violence. But why was all Jerusalem to be alarmed at the news of a king so long and so ardently expected? 1. Because the people, well acquainted with the cruelty of Herod, feared a more galling slavery. 2. Through apprehension of riots, and of a revolution, which could not be effected without bloodshed, as the Romans had such strong hold. They had also been so worn down with perpetual wars, that the most miserable servitude, with peace, was to the Jews an object rather of envy than deprecation. (Haydock)

Ver. 6. And thou Bethlehem, &c. This was a clear prophecy concerning the Messias, foretold by Micheas; (chap. v. 2,) yet the words which we read in the evangelist are not quite the same as we find in the prophet, either according to the Hebrew or to the Greek text of the Septuagint. The chief difference is, that in the prophet we read: And thou Bethlehem art little; but in the evangelist, thou art not the least. Some answer that the words of the prophet are to be expounded by way of an interrogation, art thou little? It is certain the following words, both in the prophet and in the gospel, out of thee shall come forth a leader or a captain, &c. shew that the meaning is, thou art not little. St. Jerome’s observation seems to clear this point: he tells us, that the Jewish priests, who were consulted, gave Herod the sense, and not the very words of the prophet; and the evangelist, as an historian, relates to us the words of these priests to Herod, not the very words of the prophet. (Witham) — The testimony of the chief priests proves that this text of Micheas was even then generally applied to the Messias, and that to Him alone it must be referred according to the letter. (Haydock)

Ver. 11. And going into the house. Several of the Fathers in their homilies, represent the wise men adoring Jesus in the stable, and in the manger. yet others, with St. Chrysostom take notice, that before their arrival, Jesus might be removed into some little house in Bethlehem. — Prostrating themselves, or falling down, they adored him, not with a civil worship only, but enlightened by divine inspiration, they worshipped and adored him as their Saviour and their God. — Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.[2] Divers of the ancient Fathers take notice of the mystical signification of these offerings; that by gold was signified the tribute they paid to him, as to their king; by incense, that he was God; and by myrrh, (with which dead bodies used to be embalmed) that now he was also become a mortal man. See St. Ambrose lib. 2. in Luc. chap. ii.; St. Gregory &c. (Witham) — The Church sings, “hodie stella Magos duxit ad præsepium,” but it is not probable that the blessed Virgin should remain so long in the open stable, and the less so, because the multitude, who hindered Joseph from finding accommodations either among his relatives or in the public caravansaries, had returned to their own homes. (Estius) — They adored Him. Therefore, in the eucharist also, Christ is to be adored. For it is of no consequence under what appearance he is pleased to give himself to us, whether that of a perfect man, a speechless child as here, or under the appearance of bread and wine, provided it is evident that he is there; for in whatever manner or place he appears, he is true God, and for that alone he is to be adored. Frivolous is the objection of certain sectarists, that Christ does not give himself to us in the blessed eucharist to be adored, but to be eaten. For Christ was not in Bethlehem, nor did he descend from heaven to be adored: He tells us in the xxth chap. of Matthew, ver. 28, that the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister; yet he was adored on earth, even while he was in his mortal state, by the magi, by his disciples, by the blind man that was cured of his blindness, &c. &c. “Let us imitate the magi. Thou seest him not now in the crib, but on the altar; not a woman holding him, but the priest present, and the Holy Ghost poured out abundantly upon the sacrifice.” (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxiv. in 1 Cor.; Hom. vii. de Sancto Philog.)


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