Reflection: The Epiphany of the Lord

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Is 60:1-6; Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6; Mt 2:1-12.

Epiphaneia means an act of appearing. Jesus appears to the non-Jews. At Christmas Jesus was revealed by angels to the shepherds who were Israelites. Angels were part of Jewish faith. Now Jesus appears to non-Jews, magi coming from the east guided by a star, because they were astrologers. Magi were mostly of the priestly caste in Babylon and Persia. They were also considered wise men because of their studies of the movements of the heavenly bodies. The number three was based on the number of the gifts. The Gospels do not indicate that they were kings. The star was mentioned by Balaam in Nm 24:17, “A star shall advance from Jacob and a staff (scepter) shall rise from Israel.” Earlier in Gen 49:10 Jacob prophesied, “The scepter shall never depart from Judah,” indicating a king. The location of Bethlehem as the birth place is given to us by Mic 5:1-3.

Let us now take a look at the contrasting parties involved in this story. The magi were considered wise because of their knowledge of the heavenly bodies accumulated by many generations of data collection concerning their movements and corresponding events on earth. However, these are all human wisdom, its authority stands on human observation. Herod and the people in Jerusalem possessed the accumulated prophecies received from Yahweh and the Torah given through Moses giving them solid wisdom of divine origin. With their human knowledge, the magi followed the Star and searched for something they learned only through human means. They made preparations for the journey, spending their hard earned finances, left their homes and spent days, weeks and months on their quest for the “new born king of the Jews.” Of what importance was he to them that they should sacrifice so much in search of him? Besides, the journey was uncertain; there could be setbacks along the way: sand storms, and/or ambush by bandits in the desert. Yet they took the risk and were even happy to follow the Star. Let me pause and ask myself; in my search for Jesus, have I sacrificed so much? Am I willing to sacrifice so much?

When they came near Jerusalem, the Star disappeared. Why? Jerusalem did not have clear eyes to see the Star of the Savior. Herod was not interested in the supernatural; he was very much attached to his earthly position and possession. When the magi told him of the “new born king” he felt threatened. Historical records tell us that Herod even killed some of his sons on suspicion that they were plotting to dethrone him. Pretending to find the truth about the Messiah, he called the wise men of Israel to know what the prophets said. Then he asked the magi to go and find this “new born king” and inform him, so he too could go and pay him homage. In reality he was calculating how he could find him and kill him. Herod and the Jews rejected the Messiah while the gentiles sought and accepted him. In my retreats, seminars and recollections, when the speakers touched a sensitive part of my sinful life, what were my feelings? Was I humble and contrite? Or was I angry, rebellious, calculating how to get even? And so Herod did not find his Savior and Salvation. He ended killing innocent babies, he turned into a murderer. That was Herod the Great. Later, his descendant Herod Agrippa, would murder John the Baptist who told him the truth of his standing with God. Denial of truth can lead us to greater sin, because only the truth can set us free.

Jerusalem remained in the state of darkness because its leader Herod refused to accept the “new born king.” As soon as the Magi left the city, they saw the Star again and their joy returned; they followed it until they found the Child Jesus with Mary his Mother. Their sacrifices to make the journey and the obstacles along the way vanished into the background because they found the object of their quest. Their reward was that they were able to pay him homage and offer him their gifts. In our quest for the Lord, finding him is itself our reward, feeling his nearness is our greatest security. Being able to serve him is our greatest joy. After sponsoring an MEW, we feel tired and exhausted, and yet we feel joy in our heart. After the prayer and worship and the program of our Foundation Day and the community Christmas Party, we feel tired and exhausted, but there is joy in our hearts because we felt the presence of God in our gathering as brothers and sisters.

Let us consider the gifts which were in themselves prophetic: the Gold because he is King; the Frankincense because he is Priest; and the Myrrh because he was to die for his people (myrrh was and is an important ingredient for embalming). In our giving of our treasure, we offer Jesus our gold. In our worship and life of prayer, we offer Jesus our frankincense. In our fasting and penance (denying the self and dying with Jesus), we offer him our myrrh. Let this feast of Epiphany encourage us to follow the Star that leads to Jesus and find Mary as well. Offering him our gifts is a special grace and privilege; let us never get tired of loving and serving the Lord.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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< 2022 >
December
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    (1984-2022)
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    Fray Excel Saycon
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    SSC-R MANILA:  REKOLETOS FESTIVAL 2022
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    Sis. Josefina de Leon, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Rodita Gonzales, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

3
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    PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION (Philippines)
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    Time: 9:00 a.m.
    Ordaining Prelate: Most Rev. Joel Baylon, D.D. (Diocese of Legazpi)

    Fray Cristito Rey Tepace
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    Fray Julius James Tinapao
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    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Manuel Concepcion, SAR (Manila Chapter)
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    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1994-2022)
    Fray Rouel Sia
    Fray Joel VillaruelFray Bernabe Dosdos

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Crisostomo Garnica (2011-2022)
    +Sis. Avelina Go, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

4
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    2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    INTRAMUROS GRAND MARIAN PROCESSION
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    Fray John Paul Tanquis
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    Sis. Milica Cleofas, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Joie Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2021-2022)
    Fray Ramon Bitancor III

5
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    434TH ANNIVERSARY (1588-2022) OF THE AUGUSTINIAN RECOLLECTION

    31st FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1991-2022) SEMoNoRe, Antipolo

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Grethel Manalang, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Crispina Osejo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

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    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.

    (2003-2022)
    Fray Romeo Ben Potencio, Jr.

    (2009-2022)
    Fray Roy Baluarte
    Fray Dominador Mercado, Jr.
    Fray Renier Alviola
    Fray Christopher Gaspar

    (2018-2022)
    Fray Paul Demilliones
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong
    Fray Keneth Pahamutang
    Fray Niel Ryan Jarumay
    Fray Elpedio Sarita Jr.

    ANNIVERSARY (2006-2022) OF ACCEPTANCE AS SISTERS-GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)

    Ms. Brenda Saliendra
    Ms. Nestoria Bad-an

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Mo. Juana de Sta. Rita, AR
    +Bro. Aproniano Dioko, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Sis. Loreda Cruz, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

6
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    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Amado Emmanuel Bolilia
    Sis. Gloria Piig, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Paican, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Mary Maureen Torres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Christy Mae Gregia (RAY-Tambo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Paciencia Orsolino, AR
    +Sis. Corazon Morales, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Bro. Jessie Bolaron, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Gavino Ben Cabardo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Guillermo Villariza, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

7
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    December 7, 2022

    REAP ONLINE MEETING – PRESENTATION OF NORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES (IV)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jose Jaazeal Jakosalem
    Sr. Teodora Gentapa, AR Sr. Marlyn Escalante, AR
    Sis. Melinda Olis, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Loreta Maglaque, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Maria Estrella Anotado, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2019-2022)
    Fray Jorr Rabacal
    Fray Monday Benjamine Edobor
    Fray Ifeanyichukwu Maximillian Omem
    Fray Jovy Gallego
    Fray Andrie Pugate
    Fray Jessriel Marcha
    Fray Tomokatsu Yamaguchi

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Andrea Martinez, AR
    +Sis. Teopista Eltanal, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    +Sis. Helen Lingao, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

8
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    SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

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    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
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    Sr. Concepcion Potoy, AR
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    Bro. Clemente San Gabriel Jr., SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1967-2022)
    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    (1972-2022)
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. (Diocese of Cubao)

    (2000-2022)
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    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Fray Edgar Tubio

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    Fray Roland Cepe
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    Fray Ken Oliver Lao
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    Fray John Zachary Haguisan
    Fray Rafael Pecson
    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Lounal Jarumay

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION

    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Leonora Larlar, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

9
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    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Alan Dale Adel (postulant)
    Sr. Ma. Alberta Tabon, AR
    Sr. Ma. Rosalina Fuertes, AR
    Sr. Herminia Limotlimot, AR
    Sr. Myrna Mianagua, AR
    Sr. Bernadette Calzado, AR
    Bro. German Abrina, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Desiree Mae Lauron (RAY-Miranila)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2002-2022)
    Fray Joel Dequilla
    Fray Jay Parilla
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz

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    +Sr. Magdalena de Sta. Maria
    +Mo. Potenciana de la Encarnacion
    +Sis. Florencia Bacalso, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Purificacion Dakoykoy, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

10
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    PSTV: SOLEMN PROFESSION & DIACONAL ORDINATION OF FRAY DANILLO DE SOUZA SANTOS

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    +Bro. Melchor Atienza, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

11
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    3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

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    Bro. Earl Romulo Quero Jr., SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

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    Inclusive Dates: December 11 – 15, 2022

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (2010-2022)
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    +Sr. Lourdes Tablizo, AR
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12
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    BIRTHDAY

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13
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    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1969-2022)
    Pope Francis

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14
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    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Charlito Orobia
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15
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    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Florinda Gonzales, AR
    Sis. Eleonor Tadena, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
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    Sis. Lucia Adormeo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Suzette Gasparillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

16
  • All day
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    SIMBANG GABI STARTS

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Rossil Albina (postulant)
    Sis. Alita Atotubo, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sis. Lucia Yburan, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Danica Padilla (RAY-Baguio)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Evangeline Geuncion, AR
    +Sr. Paulina Admana, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Milgaros Lucero, AR
    +Sis. Evangeline Mactao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

17
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    BIRTHDAY

    POPE FRANCIS (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)
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    Sis. Femesolene Gamboa, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Bibiana Madrinan, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Generosa Dimapilis, AR

18
  • All day
    December 18, 2022

    4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. June Clark Solas (prenovice)
    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Chalan Kanoa)
    Bro. Charlito Padul, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Bro. Romeo Pascual, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Amparo Tancino, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Cyrah Cathillar (RAY-Urbiztondo)

19
  • All day
    December 19, 2022

    ONLINE TRAINING SESSION: COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION OF MINORS AND VULNERABLE PERSONS

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Excel Saycon
    Sr. Modesta San Jose, AR
    Sis. Maribel Taclobos, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Elsa de Guzman, SAR (Urbiztondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rosario Nacua, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Anatolia Lopez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

20
  • All day
    December 20, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Albert Pellazar

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Soledad Samonte, AR

21
  • All day
    December 21, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Ma. Nicaella Rudio (RAY-Canlubang)
    Angel Mae Paraan (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Serapion Bustamante, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

22
  • All day
    December 22, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Emma Navea, AR
    Sis. Eusebia Rubillos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (1986-2022)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION

    (1989-2022)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

23
  • All day
    December 23, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ricky John Austria
    Br. Kent Año (postulant)
    Sis. Floresita Sanico, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Mercedes Jayme, AR
    +Sr. Felicidad Pangilinan, AR

24
  • All day
    December 24, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)
    Fray Allan Jacinto
    Sis. Emma Binoya, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Aida Balagtas, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Christer Mari Taclobos, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Bienvenida Dumpa, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

25
  • All day
    December 25, 2022

    CHRISTMAS DAY

    Urbi et Orbi / 12:00 nn (Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY OF:

    Sr. Mary Lou Duhino, AR
    Sis. Gloria Horcasitas, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Bro. Sofronio Maribojoc, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY

    (1980-2022)
    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)

26
  • All day
    December 26, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Allan Vivas, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Maria Gavino, AR
    +Sis. Concepcion Artiaga, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

27
  • All day
    December 27, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Editha Escalania, AR
    Sr. Filomena Atun, AR
    Sis. Evelyn Gaerlan, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rosalina Cepe, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

28
  • All day
    December 28, 2022

    HOLY INNOCENTS

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz
    Fray Jessriel Marcha
    Sis. Remia Gallegos, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lydia Gutierrez, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Luzviminda Tecson, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Emily Dacanay, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Cyrine Mae Mendoza (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rita Lincoran, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Bro. Bartolome Lamug, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

29
  • All day
    December 29, 2022

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Luz Tañales, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Justa de Jesus, AR
    +Sis. Benita Legaspi, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

30
  • All day
    December 30, 2022

    FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

    [Rizal Day: Regular Holiday]

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Tomas Banguilan, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Bro. Delfin Anareta, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Violeta Fumar, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Rizalina Gasmido, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Maria Viñon, AR
    +Sis. Teresita Villasario, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    +Sis. Benita Dianon, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Esperanza Montesclaros, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

31
  • All day
    December 31, 2022

    ROME: Celebration of Vespers and Te Deum in Thanksgiving for the past year (1700H, Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr. Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Sr. Potenciana Azurin, AR
    Sis. Elizabeth Mahusay, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Yubal, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Pauline Culaton, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Teresita Dayag, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Bonnie de Guzman (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Benigna de la Purisima Concepcion, AR
    +Sis. Zenaida Maglalang, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Myrna Baynosa, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    +Sis. Nelia Rito, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023!

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