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Bible Study on the Sunday Readings (Year B)

7 January 2024

The Feast of the Epiphany commemorates the visit of the Magi, or the Three Wise Men, to the infant Jesus, symbolizing the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles and the entire world. Let us reflect on the readings assigned to this Feast.

1. First Reading (Isaiah 60:1-6): This passage from the Book of Isaiah beautifully describes the splendor and light that will shine upon a restored Jerusalem. It symbolizes the hope of redemption and the dawn of a new era for Israel, emphasizing the return from exile and the restoration of peace and prosperity in the city.

2. Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13): This royal psalm focuses on the prayer for the king and his role in administering divine justice. It highlights the importance of justice, particularly for the poor and afflicted, and underscores the idea that divine justice takes the side of the marginalized.

3. Second Reading (Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6): Paul's letter to the Ephesians speaks of his mission as the steward of the secret of salvation, which is God's grace. He emphasizes that this grace is not exclusive to the Jewish people but is also extended to the Gentiles. This reading emphasizes the universality of God's love and the inclusion of all in the Body of Christ.

4. Gospel (Matthew 2:1-12): The Gospel passage recounts the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus. It combines historical events, legendary elements, and theological reflections. The Magi's journey and the adoration of the newborn King represent the fulfillment of Old Testament promises and the hope of salvation for all peoples. The contrast between the rejection of Jesus by His people and the acceptance by the Magi from distant lands highlights the inclusive nature of Christ's message.

These readings emphasize the themes of redemption, justice, inclusivity, and the manifestation of God's love in the humble birth of Jesus. It underscores the message that in the poverty of God, the marginalized and foreigners can find the richness of God's loving presence.

Family | Community Connections:

  1. How can we, as individuals and as a community, embody the qualities of divine justice described in the Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 72) in our daily lives? What practical steps can we take to ensure that we are advocating for and assisting the poor and marginalized in our society as a reflection of God's justice?

  2. In the Gospel reading (Matthew 2), we see that Jesus is accepted by strangers and foreigners, while His own people initially reject Him. What does this story teach us about openness to outsiders and embracing diversity in our faith community? How can we foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment for those who may be considered "foreigners" or outsiders in our own context?


"Lord, may we reflect God's justice and welcome all with love."


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