On the Word of the Lord and the Message of Our Lady
A Guide on Living Our Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
by Fr. Omer Prieto
Solemnity of the Epiphany (Year C)
Gospel: Matthew 2: 1 – 12
Our Lady’s Message: The Morning Star (484)
Brothers and sisters,
We celebrate this Sunday the Epiphany of the Lord. Visited and adored by the magi from the east, the newborn king of the Jews is revealed to all peoples (Mt. 2:1-12), giving greater significance and dimension to His Birth. “Lord, every nation on earth will adore you” (Ps. 72).
Echoing this revelation, Our Lady tells us that Jesus is the “Morning Star,” the true Light that enlightens all. She exhorts us to be penetrated by His light and become His witnesses, as the darkness of our time grows stronger and deeper. We will read Message 484: “The Morning Star” from the book “To the Priests Our Lady’s Beloved Sons.”
I. GOSPEL READING (Matthew 2:1-12)
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.” When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.” Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
Points for Reflection
1. The Sign from Heaven
It has been long prophesied that a star would be the sign of Jerusalem’s future glory. Isaiah foresaw this: “Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.” He further foretold in the First Reading that the wealth of nations will be brought there and foreigners will come bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praises of the Lord (Is. 60:1-6). In Bethlehem, the star is the shining radiance of God that manifests the divine splendor of the newborn Child, revealing Him as Lord and King of the entire world, not only of the Jews. The Psalm says it right: “Lord, every nation on earth will adore you” (Ps. 72).
2. The Search of the Magi
Such was the star that the “magi” saw from afar. Probably astrologers from Persia and possibly part of the group of “wise men” under the tutelage of prophet Daniel, they were likely familiar with the old Messianic prophesies. Guided by this star, they embarked on the journey anxious to see the Messiah. Crossing the desert, they were led to the little town of Bethlehem where they found Jesus. They worshiped Him and gave Him gifts as foretold. Gold honored Him as King. Incense adorned His divinity. Myrrh (used in preparing the dead for burial) prefigured His death. All these gifts were likewise epiphanies of Jesus’ identity and mission. He is the divine King who would die as ransom for many. The magi’s search for the newborn king heralded the New Light that has dawned on all. This is the “mystery” that was made known to St. Paul – “The Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and co-partners in Christ Jesus through the Gospel” – we hear in the Second Reading (Eph. 3:2-3, 5-6).
3. Looking Up to the Sky
Epiphany is a life-changing experience. Life is never the same again once we find Jesus. For the Magi, it was a return through “another way.” For Paul, it was a conversion to the “way.” Speaking ahead of the Epiphany, Pope Francis exhorted us at the General Audience last January 2 that we must always look up to the sky. “Only in this way, will we be able to see the Star.” This reminder is more than ever urgent in these times when thick darkness covers us, Our Lady warns us in Her message. “It is the darkness of the lack of faith and of apostasy, which has spread everywhere. It is the darkness of evil and sin, which has now obscured hearts and souls. It is the darkness of faithlessness and impiety, of egoism and pride, of hardness of heart and impurity (484 l-n). With this darkness, we must look up to the sky to see the Star. Jesus is the Morning Star, the true light that guides us to cross the tumultuous desert of deception and confusion of our time.
II. OUR LADY’S MESSAGE: “THE MORNING STAR ” (Message 484)
December 24, 1992
Dongo, Como, Italy
a. Beloved children, enter with me into the deep mystery of this holy night. Live it close to your heavenly Mother and to my most chaste spouse, Joseph. Live it in silence, in prayer, in humility, in purity and in love.
b. I am opening for you the door of my Immaculate Heart, to have you enter and feel its beating, in these last instants which precede the birth of my heavenly Child.
c. Each beat of my motherly Heart, in this holy night,
becomes a sigh of expectation, a moan of desire, a spark of love, a prayer of quiet, a word with the Father, a transport of the Spirit, who comforts me in a profound ecstasy of life with paradise, which I see all enclosed in this poor cave.
d. As night surrounds everything and deep darkness has come down upon the world, your heavenly Mother is penetrated with a most powerful light: my mind becomes absorbed in the splendor of eternal Wisdom; my Heart opens itself to the most ardent brightness of Love; my soul is penetrated by the ray of the fullness of grace and of holiness; my virginally inviolate body opens to the gift of my divine Son.
e. With my motherly arms, I place in the squalid manger my heavenly Child, born in this night of deep darkness.
f. But the stars shine brightly in the heavens, as the angels proclaim the song of celestial harmonies and the shepherds come to the cave to bring the homage of the simple, the poor, the pure of heart.
g. Thus is the Infant Jesus comforted by the love, which He receives from the little ones, even amidst the vast rejection of the great.
h. And so, in the deep night, which enfolds the world, the Morning Star opens to give you his light.
i. My divine Child is the Morning Star, who shines with the very light of the Father, who brings his life into the desert of the world and of history, who gives a beginning to the new day for a redeemed and rescued humanity.
j. “The true Light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came into the world, which is His own, but His own people did not accept Him. A few however have believed in Him, and to these God has given the gift of becoming children of God. The Word became man and made his dwelling among us. We have contemplated his divine splendor. It is the splendor of the only-begotten Son of God the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:9-14).
k. Beloved children, on this holy night, allow yourselves to be penetrated by his divine splendor and become witnesses and apostles of his light. Because the darkness is now becoming deeper, as the moment of the return of Jesus in glory draws closer.
l. It is the darkness of the lack of faith and of apostasy, which has spread everywhere.
m. It is the darkness of evil and sin, which has now obscured hearts and souls.
n. It is the darkness of faithlessness and impiety, of egoism and pride, of hardness of heart and impurity.
o. In this great night, the second birth of Jesus in glory is about to take place, a glory, which, as morning star, will brighten up the dawn of the new heavens and the new earth.
p. For this reason, I urge you today to fight and, together with me, to gain the victory in the great battle of these last times, to assure that you may ever remain faithful to Jesus.
q. “Do not seal up the prophetic words of this book, for the appointed time is near. Let the wicked still act wickedly and the filthy still be filthy. The righteous must still do right, and he who belongs to the Lord must consecrate himself more and more to Him. I am coming soon, and I will bring with me the recompense which I will give to each, according to his deeds” (Rev. 22:10-12).
r. “To the victors, who carry out my Will until the end, I will give authority over the nations, as I myself have received it from my Father, and I will give them also the morning star” (Rev. 2:26-28).
s. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the Churches. I am the root and offspring of David, the bright morning star.”
t. “The Spirit and the Bride of the Lamb say: ‘Come!’ Whoever harkens to these things says: ‘Come!’” (Rev. 22:16-17)
Points for Reflection:
1. The Morning Star
Our Lady describes Jesus as the Morning Star who shines with the very light of the Father, giving a fresh start to a new day for a redeemed and rescued humanity (484 l). He is the true Light that enlightens every man (484 m), we hear in the Prologue of John’s gospel. “He was in the world and the world was made through Him; yet the world did not know Him. He came into the world, which is His own, but His own people did not accept Him. A few however have believed in Him, and to these God has given the gift of becoming children of God. The Word became man and made his dwelling among us. We have contemplated his divine splendor. It is the splendor of the only-begotten Son of God the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:9-14).
2. Witnessing to the Light
Showing the radiant light of the Morning Star, Our Lady urges us to “be penetrated by His divine splendor and become witnesses and apostles of His light” (484 k). The darkness in our time has grown deeper and stronger, making Her appeal more urgent than ever. “It is the darkness of the lack of faith and of apostasy, which has spread everywhere. It is the darkness of evil and sin, which has now obscured hearts and souls. It is the darkness of faithlessness and impiety, of egoism and pride, of hardness of heart and impurity” (484 l-n). Though the battle against the powers of darkness is tough, She urges us to remain ever faithful to Jesus. He is the Morning Star and the victory is assured.
As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany, let us heed Our Lady’s call. With Her help, let us find concrete ways by which penetrated by the light of Her Son, we may become His witnesses.
A blessed Epiphany to all!
Yours in the Immaculate Heart,
Our Lady’s messages are taken from the book: “To the Priests Our Lady’s Beloved Sons”, a compilation of 604 messages in the form of locutions given by the Blessed Virgin Mary through Fr. Stefano Gobbi of Italy.
Bp Donald W. Montrose, D.D., 1998
Abp Francesco Cuccarese, 2007
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Shared with Permission from Group Administrator, Marian Movement of Priests