‘O Lord, look with favor upon the gifts offered by Your Church’

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SycamoreTree

Editor’s note – We are pleased to welcome back the weekly column known as “The View from the Sycamore Tree” written by longtime Guam Catholic Daniel Bradley under the pen name “Zacchaeus”.

The Prophet Isaiah is quoted in the Mass celebrated next Tuesday: “All they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord. Arise and be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.” I quote further from The Saints Calendar 2014 published by Tan Books: “Epiphany is the feast commemorating the day the Three Wise Men sought out Our Lord and brought Him gifts shortly after His birth. In Greek, the word ‘epiphany’ means ‘appearance or manifestation,’ and this feast is particularly important for Gentiles whose fore-runners the Three Wise Men are, and who, through the Three Wise Men, were called to believe in and worship the true God.”

“Having seen the bright star in the East, a sign of the Savior’s birth, the three journeyed to Jerusalem and asked King Herod where the newborn king was. Herod asked the chief
priests and scribes where (this king) would be born. They answered that the prophet Micheas had foretold that Bethlehem was the place. Led by the star, the Three found the
Holy Family in the place described. Here they prostrated themselves and worshipped the Infant Jesus, acknowledged Him to be a King; presenting gifts: gold for a King; frankincense — acknowledging Him as God; and myrrh — in testimony that Our Lord, our King and our God, would die for the Redemption of mankind.” The ‘secret prayer’ in the Epiphany Mass says: “O Lord, look with favor upon the gifts offered by Your Church. It is not gold, frankincense, and myrrh that is offered now, but the King, God and Saviour. Who was signified by these gifts, is Himself our sacrifice, and our food; Jesus Christ Your Son, Our Lord; Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit… O Almighty God, grant that we may understand with pure minds the revelation of Christ which we here solemnly commemorate.”

We are the Gentiles, represented by the Three Kings from different countries, who seek this King, this Savior, this God; this Infant, Who from all eternity has promised to suffer as a human, the humiliation, abandonment by His friends; be handed over as a common criminal to be publicly scourged, spit upon, and nailed to a cross which He was forced to carry to the place of execution. Why? “If you would love Me, take up your cross daily and follow Me.” Lord, Infant Jesus, grant that we may persevere through the daily hardships of life united with You here on earth, that we may rejoice with You in that heavenly Jerusalem.” — Zacchaeus

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