The Feast of the Epiphany, which the Church celebrated yesterday, formerly had an octave. Although the octave was suppressed in the 1962 Rite, even the rubrics promulgated in that year still recognize the “ghost” of the octave, inasmuch as certain Epiphany features of the Divine Office and Mass show up in the liturgy during these days.
The Epiphany is the “Christmas of the Gentiles,” a feast which popularly outranks Christmas in certain Catholic nations (and liturgically outranked it on the Church’s calendar until its octave was dropped). The three mysteries it celebrates — in order, the visit of the Magi, the Baptism in the Jordan, and the wedding feast at Cana — are all about Christ’s manifestation to the world. The principal one of these mysteries commemorated in the Roman Rite is the visit of the Magi, the gentiles who saw the light of His revelation by seeing and following His star.
Let us all strive to imitate these holy wayfarers, especially taking note of how the “wise men” found Our Lord: “And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him: and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Mt. 2:11). If we would be wise and find Jesus, we must seek him where he is, “with Mary his mother,” and there offer him our gifts.
Some additional considerations can be found in the “Homily of Saint John Chrysostom for Epiphany ” posted on our web site. (By the way, January 6 is also the feast of my own patron, Blessed Frère André. Our article on the article on the humble brother has received 241 unique viewers so far this month.)
» The Modern Megastate’s Hubris: The UK’s Guardian Unlimited brings us a story, “MPs challenge ‘doctrinaire’ bishops,” that details the anti-Catholic bluster of a certain British Labor Party MP. It is almost inconceivable that these things can be uttered by someone in political office: “It seems to me that faith education works all right as long as people are not that serious about their faith. But as soon as there is a more doctrinaire attitude questions have to be asked.” Similarly ominous signs are coming from Canada. Which leads to the question: How long will the Church retain her freedoms in the lands inhabited or colonized by former Christendom? Considering all we have given up to modernity through ecumenical toadyism, it looks as if modernity isn’t any the nicer. It reminds one of the story of the Indian and the Snake.