Sunday Scripture readings, Jan. 6, 2019: We three kings


The Catholic News Service column, “Speak to Me Lord,” offers reflections on the Sunday Scripture readings. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Jan. 6, The Epiphany of the Lord

Cycle C
1) Is 60:1-6
 Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13
2) Eph 3:2-3, 5-6
Gospel: Mt 2:1-12

 By Kevin Perrotta
Catholic News Service

The morning after the Magis’ visit to Bethlehem.

Balthasar: So it seems that all three of us have dreamed the same dream.

Gaspar: With the same angel and the same warning.

Melchior: Personally, I’m fine with not going back to talk with Herod. A vile and despicable person. He gave me the creeps.

Balthasar: OK. We’ll have to make a long detour to get around Jerusalem.

Gaspar: The sooner we get on our way, the better.

Melchior: You know, this has been a strange journey.


Kevin Perrotta writes for the Catholic News Service Scripture column, “Speak to Me Lord.” (CNS photo/courtesy Kevin Perrotta)

Balthasar: Tell me about it!

Melchior: The star at the beginning and the angel now — very strange. But that’s not what I mean.

Gaspar: You mean the strangeness at the heart of it?

Melchior: Yes.

Gaspar: That little boy.

Melchior: There he is, with his peasant parents, in a modest little house. Just down the road Herod sits in that splendid palace fortress of his. It seems obvious to everyone which of them is king, and yet …

Gaspar: What seems obvious turns out to be totally mistaken.

Balthasar: When I put my forehead to the floor in front of that little boy, there was absolutely no doubt in my heart that he is, in fact, greater than all the kings of the earth put together.

Melchior: That was my conviction too. And I don’t know which is more astonishing — that that child is king or that I knew it.

Gaspar: If Herod weren’t still king, we wouldn’t be making a detour around Jerusalem.

Balthasar: Yes, but there’s a greater kingship at work. It led us here. It showed us the boy. It gave us faith in him. It’s directing us on our way.

Melchior: This has changed what I consider strange. What seems strange now is not that that little boy in Bethlehem is king but that everyone in the world isn’t shouting his praises and putting their heads down to the floor in front of him. Suddenly, that seems like the most normal thing to do.

Gaspar: Although, if his kingship is not strange, it is deeply mysterious.

Balthasar: After being in his presence, it’s a mystery I hope to live in always.

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Perrotta is the editor and an author of the “Six Weeks With the Bible” series (Loyola Press), teaches part time at Siena Heights University and leads Holy Land pilgrimages. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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