Sunday Readings 06/01/13

THE SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY

MagiThe Magi with their gifts represent the consistent truth that God’s revelation is for the gentiles and not just for the Jews (Matthew 2:1-12). This truth forms an ‘inclusio’ of Matthew’s gospel as it is declared at the end as well as at the beginning in the Infancy Narrative. Jesus stands with his disciples after the Resurrection and orders them to ‘teach all nations’ (Matthew 28:19). This truth runs like a thread throughout the Old Testament and the pericope of Isaiah is a clear example. The vision of Jerusalem – no longer destroyed by gentiles as during the Exile, but now rebuilt – is as the mother gathering all nations (go’im) with kings, camels and gold (Isaiah 60:1-6). It is a truth that St. Paul styles a ‘mystery’ – that the pagans share the same inheritance (Ephesians 3:2-3.5-6).

Dei Verbum gives five reasons why the writings of the Old Testament must be accepted with veneration by Christians as God’s revelation: (i) they give expression to a lively sense of God; (ii) they are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God; (iii) they give sound wisdom on human life; (iv) they are a wonderful treasury of prayer; (vi) in them the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way (DV 15). These aspects are present in different ways and differing degrees with every section of the Old Testament. They are clearly present in the texts that show God’s salvation is both for the Jews and the gentiles.

Canon Mervyn Tower


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