Voices ever ancient, ever new. Epiphany of the Lord 2014.

“And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.” (Matthew 2:12)

Saint Gregory the Great offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“The return of the magi “by another way” home suggests a spiritual interpretation: As they were advised to take another way, so are we. Our home country is the paradise from which we have fallen. We are forbidden to return to it. When we come to know Jesus, we can return along the way by which he returned. We left our paradise by our pride and disobedience, by overvaluing visible things, by succumbing to the tasting of forbidden fruit. We now can return only by weeping and obedience, rejecting visible things, and by curbing our bodily appetites. So let us, like the magi, return to our home country by another way than the way we left it. Our evil inclination led us away from the joys of paradise. Our turning around in repentance summons us to return by another way. In this way, dearly beloved, we are being awakened to the fear of God. Be vigilant. Set before the eyes of your heart the deceitfulness of your works. Take seriously the severity of the final judgment. Consider how strict a judge is coming. He threatens the impenitent with terror. Yet he still gives them time for repentance. He bears with us. He puts off coming for this reason, that he may find fewer to condemn.” (Forty Gospel Homilies, 10)

O God, Who on this day
revealed your Only Begotten Son to the nations
by the guidance of a star,
grant in your mercy
that we, who know you already by faith,
may be brought to behold
the beauty of your sublime glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen!