Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Epiphany of Our Lord Year B (2015)

Today's Readings

I knew Epiphany as the day the three kings showed up to see Jesus (probably when he was a couple years old, not a dozen days after his birth.) This is the story in today's gospel reading, Matthew 2:1-12. Wikipedia's article about it shows that it is much more complicated than that. For instance, it is also 12th Night. As well as the anniversary of the day John the Baptist baptised Jesus. And much more in many diverse countries and denominations. It is a reminder that there is so much I (and most Christians) don't know about our faith.

The carol We Three Kings of Orient Are was written for Epiphany.

The other readings for today are very much about justice. In particular, I liked the Psalm reading, Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14:
Give the king your justice, O God,
    and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
    and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
    and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
    give deliverance to the needy,
    and crush the oppressor.
May he live while the sun endures,
    and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
    like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish
    and peace abound, until the moon is no more. May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
    render him tribute,
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
    bring gifts.
May all kings fall down before him,
    all nations give him service.
For he delivers the needy when they call,
    the poor and those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
    and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
    and precious is their blood in his sight.
I think it is interesting that some Psalms are filled with anger in response to oppression, while others are filled with hope. Even knowing much of the history since they were written, I can't say what is or was the better response but I do know that for myself, while being angry has it's value, I need hope as well to work for justice. I can be angry on my own (ie based on my own observances), I am more likely to need outside help with having hope.

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