It is New Years Eve Eve (is this good english?!). The snow is falling, and I am getting sick of it already. Don’t get me wrong: I love snow, but the St. Louis Area has poor capabilities to handle the roads, and there are some real “ya-hoo” drivers that think 4-wheel drive means “can go anywhere and do anything, ‘ including swerving in traffic and doing 10 miles over the speed limit.
Again, please pass the word about this site. I wonder if changing to another site like blogspot wood be better for getting the word out?Please let me know. Thanks.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
Friends are like stars. You may not always see them but you know they are always there.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” (NAB Mt 2:1-2)
“We three Kings of Orient are traveling far … .” I have sang this song many times, but never truly understood what the Kings journey and significance meant to me and catholicism as a whole. After meditating and reflecting on these two verses, I will never sing this song apathetically again. There is a lot packed into these two sentences. The future rejection of Jesus by Jewish temple leaders and worshipers; and his acceptance by the Gentiles at the very start of His life, are demonstarated in the scene presented in these sentences.
Herod was a King under rule of the Roman emperor. He was powerful: but not as powerful as the Roman government. King Herod had to appease, and especially not upset, his Roman leaders. This King reigned from 37 to 4 B.C. According to Matthew’s gospel, Jesus had to be born before the year 4 B.C., and not at year 1 A.D. as most Christians think. Who really knows for sure the exact date of His birth, and who really cares!? The date is not important: it’s the God being born a human, for our redemption, that is important.
The Magi were originally a designation of the Persian priestly clan or caste system. The word ‘magi’ became used for those who were regarded as having more than human knowledge; such as someone that could interpret dreams, astrologers, or those that performed magic. In Matthew’s Gospel, the magi are “astrologers.” Somehow, in the western church,their names came to be Caspar, Balthasar, and Melchior; with Caspar being black. The magi were not Jewish: they were gentiles, and probably from Persia, eastern Syria, or Arabia.
The star being followed by the magi is identified with the messiah in Old Testament. It was a common ancient belief that a new star appeared at the time of a ruler’s birth. Matthew drew upon the Old Testament story of Balaam, who had prophesied that “a star shall advance from Jacob” (Numbers 24:17), though in this OT verse the star means not an astral phenomenon, but the king himself. This ‘star’ was a definite heavenly body, and was probably either a supernova, a comet, or a planetary conjunction.
Just think, a heavenly body brings in the announcement of a heavenly God made human – by a heavenly angel to lowly Jewish shepherds and rich, wise gentile men – looking towards the heaven.
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Prologue to Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule, Chapter 1:
… “Oh, holy Father, protect them with your name (cf. Jn 17:11) whom you gave me out of the world. I entrusted to them the message you entrusted to me and they received it. They have known that in truth I came from you; they have believed that it was you who sent me. For these I pray, not for the world (cf. Jn 17:9). Bless and consecrate them, and I consecrate myself for their sakes. I do not pray for them alone; I pray also for those who will believe in me through their word (cf. Jn 17:20) that they may be holy by being one, as we are (cf. Jn 17:11). And I desire, Father, to have them in my company where I am to see this glory of mine in your kingdom” (cf. Jn 17:6-24).