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Lessons from the Magi

 

BY FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

 

 

wrd word alive bel san luis

A funny friend told me, “Father, did you know that there were originally six Kings, not three? Only three reached Bethlehem. The three others got lost; one found his way to the USA and was called BURGER KING, the other reached China and was called CHOWKING, and the third found his way to the Philippines. He was called TAPA KING.”

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Joking aside, tomorrow we celebrate the feast of the Magi or Epiphany. It is called epiphany because Jesus revealed himself not only to the Jews, the Chosen People, but also to pagan visitors from the East. Hence, Epiphany – from the Greek term “epiphanein” – means the “manifestation” of the Messiah to the gentiles.

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The gospel writer teaches that Christ’s salvation is universal, that is, for ALL peoples. Hence, the teaching of certain Christian denominations that they – and only they! – will be saved clearly contradicts the biblical teaching of the Epiphany.

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NOT A PAST HISTORICAL EVENT. Epiphany, like Christmas, is not a celebration of a past historical event which we love to recall every year. Rather the event has a message that’s relevant and applicable for our times.

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According to the evangelist Matthew, the wise men searched for the newborn Child. Their search required courage, perseverance, and a strong conviction to reach their goal.

Do you still remember the taxi driver Emilio Advincula who captured the hearts of our people some years ago because he returned a bag that contained some ₱2-million worth of cash and jewelry?

That morning he was worrying about how to repay a debt to his brother-in-law. Despite the strong temptation to keep the big amount, he returned the bag, remembering what his mother had often told him as a boy: “No matter what, never take anything that’s not yours.”

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In married life, it takes moral courage and perseverance to remain a faithful husband or wife in a millieu where infidelity and broken marriages abound.

To paraphrase the British statesman Thomas B. Macaulay: “The test of a person’s real character is what he or she would do if he knew nobody is watching.”

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ASK YOURSELF: Will people you meet be inspired and edified by your Christian living? Or would they be turned off? Do they see Christ through your generosity, compassion, honesty, and inspiring family life?

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MOTHERHOOD OF MARY January 1st marks the feast of the Motherhood of Mary. The Church fittingly entrusts us to our spiritual mother right at the beginning of the year.

As the saying goes, “A mother knows best.” The powerful protection of Mama Mary may be illustrated in this apocryphal story.

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Our Lord was making his rounds in heaven. On the way, He noticed some suspicious-looking men. The Lord summoned St. Peter, the gatekeeper, and asked: “Why are these seedy characters here?”

Peter scratched his head and sheepishly replied, “Lord, I keep barring them out, but they hang around and the lady allows them to enter through the window.”

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“Who’s that lady?” the Lord asked. Peter pointed at the woman whose back was turned.

When the Lord approached her, he discovered it was his own Mother! It was Jesus’ turn to scratch his head. Jesus could not go against his Mother!

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LESSON: If you’re not sure of getting to Heaven, better hold on to the mantle of our heavenly Mother!

May she guide and accompany us in our journey through the New Year – despite COVID-19!

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. Three friends – a Franciscan, Jesuit, and SVD – paid homage to the Christ Child in Bethlehem. The Franciscan was interested to bring home the manger to remind his confreres of the strict poverty they profess.

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The Jesuit was more interested to have Jesus enroll at the Ateneo.

When they looked around for the SVD, he was nowhere to be found. They discovered that he had run a er the Three Kings …soliciting donations for the mission!

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START THE YEAR RIGHT. Help our seminarians who are enrolling for the second semester. Many families of our seminarians are financially hard up due to the present COVID-19 crisis. Let’s remember: Without seminarians we cannot have future priests, bishops, and popes.

Donate an amount or sponsor a seminarian’s schooling for one semester. For inquiry, e-mail me at: [email protected]

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FAMILY TV MASS is aired on TV5 One Sport Channel 59, free TV Channel 41 from 6 to 7 a.m. Sunday, and anytime at MCFI SVD media account on YouTube and Facebook. Priest presider: FR. BEL SAN LUIS SVD.

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A GRACE-FILLED NEW YEAR TO ALL!

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