Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thoughts on Epiphany

Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus, Domine, dona propitius intuere: quibus non jam aurum, thus, et myrrha profertur: sed quod eisdem muneribus declaratur, immolatur, et sumitur Jesus Christus Filius tuus Dominus noster: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Look graciously, we beseech Thee, O Lord, upon the offerings of Thy Church, in which are no longer offered gold, frankincense, and myrrh: but He, Who by these same gifts was signified, is sacrificed and received, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

The Secret for Epiphany ought to remind priests how extremely precious are the offerings placed in their hands. The magi prostrated before the Lord and adored Him. They opened their treasures and offered Him gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. However, at the Holy Sacrifice, the priest offers to the Lord a gift greater than what the magi offered in homage. He offers God's only Son upon the altar. He does not offer gold to symbolize the kingship of Christ. Rather, he offers the King of kings, the true Son of David whose reign is without end. He does not offer frankincense to symbolize the divinity of Christ. Rather, he offers the Son of God, consubstantial with the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God. He does not offer myrrh to symbolize the sacrifice of Christ. Rather, he offers in sacrifice the Lamb who was slain and who now lives for ever, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

How blessed are you, O priest of God, for unworthy you may be, you have been chosen to offer to God the very gifts He has bestowed upon us: "a pure Victim, a holy Victim, an immaculate Victim, the holy Bread of eternal life and the Chalice of everlasting salvation"!

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