Sunday, January 8, 2012

Gospel Reflection

January 07, 2012
Anticipated Sunday Mass (The Epiphany of the Lord - Solemnity)
by Rev. Fr. Stephen Mifsud (MSSP – Quezon City)
MSSP House / Mass for the poor

First Reading:               Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm:                         Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13
Second Reading:           Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6
Gospel:                        Matthew 2:1-12

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him." 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: 6 `And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'" 7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; 8 and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." 9 When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; 11 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. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.raphic Order (M


How many gifts did you receive this Christmas? What type of gifts?

Whose birthday did we celebrate?  Jesus
When someone has a birthday (not you) who receives the gifts? You or the one who has birthday?

Why do you receive gifts if it is not your birthday?
Did you give a gift to Jesus?

For many Filipinos Christmas means asking for and receiving gifts and money... mamasko!!
In our country no one asks for gift! That’s very rude and insulting! A gift is given freely.
Children singing to collect money... for us we go to sing in old people’s homes and hospitals not receive money but to give joy !!

What gift did you give to Jesus on his birthday?   What did you give to others?

you tell me ... Wala akong pera!  mahirap ako! I don’t have anything to give!.
Talaga? Hindi totoo yan!!

What gifts did Jesus receive?
Do you think Jesus needed gold? NO
Do you think Jesus needed Frankincense? NO
Do you think Jesus needs perfume? Maybe yes... kasi mabaho ang lugar full of animals!!

What type of gifts are these? What do they represent if Jesus did not need them?

1. Gold was a symbol of kings... Christ is a king that leads and protects you – what gift you give to a king? King does not need gold but needs people who Listen to him, who obey and respect.  So let our gift be letting God direct our lives. To do what He wants.

2. Frankincense is the sign of the priest. The incense (good smelling smoke) that the priests offers to God as a symbol that the prayers arrive to God on high.   Jesus is the great high priest who bridges the gap between God and man.  How much expensive is a prayer? Nothing... walang bayad !  Prayer is a gift that we can give to Jesus... So many people ate good food, did fireworks ... some of them did not pray and went to meat Jesus in Church.  So when you pray like what you are doing now, you are like the wise men offering Frankincense.

3. Myrrh is the perfume used to anoint the dead.  Jesus saved us from sins by giving everything to us including his life.  How much it cost to go for confession? Nothing! The biggest gift we can give to Jesus is to renew our life, to die for sin and have good Christian life.   Giving perfume means to be in solidarity with those who are suffering... to give the gift of affection.

So if this Christmas you did not give anything to Jesus... its time to give him something for his birthday... not the material gifts that we received but

The gift of PRAYER
The gift of RENEWAL and GOOD LIFE, SOLIDARITY with those suffering.