Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was made manifest to the Gentiles today.
The Three Kings from the Orient completed their journey of following the Star of Bethlehem to adore the newborn King of Kings, presenting Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Men who possessed political power of this earth bowed down to adore a mere Child, cognizant of the great gift that they had been given to know that the Saviour had come to earth as a child.
The Three Kings, who were baptized during the missionary activity of Saint Thomas the Apostle, did not consider it beneath themselves to genuflect before the One they had been given to know was their Lord and Saviour, quite a distinct difference from the all-knowing, proud sophisticates in the world of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo worship service who refuse to genuflect before the King of Kings in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Yes, the Three Kings had the humility to recognize that they had been made by God to know, to know, and to serve Him as He manifested Himself to them in the very flesh on the day they appeared to present him with the gifts that symbolized Our Lord as Priest, Prophet, and King.
Gifts for the New and Eternal High Priest
Saint Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews spoke of Our Lord as the High Priest Who offered the one Sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins on the wood of the Holy Cross. His priesthood atones for the sins of all men, having superseded the hereditary priesthood of the Levitical order of the Old Covenant. As the Chief Priest and Victim of every Mass, the King of Kings Who offered Himself up to the Father in Spirit and in Truth on Calvary makes it possible for sinful men, having been regenerated in the baptismal font and cleansed in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance, to approach Him on their knees at the Communion Rail to receive Him in Holy Communion.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar offered frankincense to the new High Priest, Who beckons men in every age to re-present His Sacrifice of the Cross as other Christs in His Holy Priesthood. The great feast of the Epiphany, therefore, has special significance for Catholic priests, men who have been given power by God the Holy Ghost to incarnate Our Lord under the appearances of bread and wine and to give spiritual re-birth to souls held captive by Original Sin and Mortal Sins committed after baptism.
Saint Paul wrote the following in His Epistle to the Hebrews:
For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on them that are ignorant and that err: because he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And therefore he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. Neither doth any man take the honour to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was. So Christ also did not glorify himself, that he might be made a high priest: but he that said unto him: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
As he saith also in another place: Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech. Who in the days of his flesh, with a strong cry and tears, offering up prayers and supplications to him that was able to save him from death, was heard for his reverence. And whereas indeed he was the Son of God, he learned obedience by the things which he suffered: And being consummated, he became, to all that obey him, the cause of eternal salvation. Called by God a high priest according to the order of Melchisedech.
Of whom we have much to say, and hard to be intelligibly uttered: because you are become weak to hear. (Heb. 5: 1-11)
Solemn, therefore, are the obligations of priests to manifest Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to make Him manifest in all of their words and actions. Priests must be conscious of the fact that they, who are in the world to save souls but are not of the world, are "on duty" twenty-four hours day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days a year. They are to spend themselves tirelessly in behalf of souls, never counting the cost and never looking for results, just content at all times to have the unmerited privilege of offering the ineffable sacrifice of the altar for the honor and glory of the Most Blessed Trinity and for the sanctification and salvation of souls. They are to present themselves as a gift to the One Whose Gospel and Sacraments they have been charged with making manifest to the sheep entrusted to their pastoral care unto eternity.
Although those of us in the laity do not share in the ordained priesthood of the High Priest, we do have a share in what is called the "common" priesthood of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The common priesthood of the all of the faithful is different both in degree and in kind from the sacerdotal priesthood of those who have been ordained in the likeness of Christ the High Priest and Victim of the New and Eternal Covenant.
Nevertheless, we participate in the priesthood of Our Lord by offering Him our prayers, sacrifices, penances, mortifications, acts of almsgiving and charity, and the performance of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, uniting them to His offering of Himself to the Father in atonement for our sins. Each Mass we attend permits us the opportunity to "collect" our prayers, if you will, and to unite them to the intentions of the priest who is offering the Mass in persona Christi for the particular intention (or intentions) for which he saying the Mass and for the good of the whole Church, including the Church Suffering in Purgatory.
Those of us who are totally consecrated to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart exercise the common priesthood of the faithful in a most excellent way by entrusting to her whatever merits we earn during the course of a day and giving them to God through that same Immaculate Heart as slaves who do not seek to direct how those merits are used. This demonstrates our total trust in Our Lady, before whom Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar paid their homage at the Epiphany, as we seek to make her Divine Son manifest in every aspect of our own lives. To exercise the common priesthood of the lay faithful, you see, we must rely upon Our Lady, who will help us to be co-redeemers with her Divine Son. She will help us to be instruments of the sanctification of every aspect of our daily living and to be thus better disposed to assist at the Act of Adoration that is the Holy Mass with reverence and with gratitude.
Our Lady saw the gold being presented to her Divine Son by the Three Kings. She wants our souls to be lined with gold as He manifests Himself to us during Holy Mass. She wants us to remember that the first manifestation of His miraculous power, which took place at the wedding feast of Cana, was a foreshadowing of the Eucharist. Our Lady also wants us to remember that it was upon her own request that her Divine Son first manifested His the miraculous power of His Sacred Divinity, hidden behind the veil of His Sacred Humanity. Why do we doubt her power to intercede for us now in these days when belief in the Real Presence and in the sacrificial nature of the Mass has been undermined by the whole ethos of conciliarism?
The King of Kings
The Three Kings from the Orient gave Our Lord gold in honor of His Kingly dignity. This is why the vessels which hold His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity during Holy Mass should be made of gold or be plated therewith. This is not ostentatious display, as some Protestants and poorly formed (and informed) Catholics might contend. No, this is what is due the King of Kings in His Real Presence. Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar saw fit to give gold to Our Lord when they adored Him. We are expected to less then they? The Church must render unto her Divine Bridegroom nothing other than that which was offered to Him on the first Epiphany, signifying also that our souls must be golden pure in order to be fitting receptacles for Him in Holy Communion which are better able therefore to shine brilliantly His brightness into the darkness of a world steeped in sin and in error.
Pope Pius XI wrote eloquently of the Universal Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Quas Primas, issued on December 11, 1925:
It has long been a common custom to give to Christ the metaphorical title of "King," because of the high degree of perfection whereby he excels all creatures. So he is said to reign "in the hearts of men," both by reason of the keenness of his intellect and the extent of his knowledge, and also because he is very truth, and it is from him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind. He reigns, too, in the wills of men, for in him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the Holy Will of God, and further by his grace and inspiration he so subjects our free- will as to incite us to the most noble endeavors. He is King of hearts, too, by reason of his "charity which exceedeth all knowledge." And his mercy and kindness which draw all men to him, for never has it been known, nor will it ever be, that man be loved so much and so universally as Jesus Christ. But if we ponder this matter more deeply, we cannot but see that the title and the power of King belongs to Christ as man in the strict and proper sense too. For it is only as man that he may be said to have received from the Father "power and glory and a kingdom," since the Word of God, as consubstantial with the Father, has all things in common with him, and therefore has necessarily supreme and absolute dominion over all things created.
Do we not read throughout the Scriptures that Christ is the King? He it is that shall come out of Jacob to rule, who has been set by the Father as king over Sion, his holy mount, and shall have the Gentiles for his inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for his possession. In the nuptial hymn, where the future King of Israel is hailed as a most rich and powerful monarch, we read: "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the scepter of thy kingdom is a scepter of righteousness." There are many similar passages, but there is one in which Christ is even more clearly indicated. Here it is foretold that his kingdom will have no limits, and will be enriched with justice and peace: "in his days shall justice spring up, and abundance of peace...And he shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth."
The testimony of the Prophets is even more abundant. That of Isaias is well known: "For a child is born to us and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God the mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace. His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace. He shall sit upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever." With Isaias the other Prophets are in agreement. So Jeremias foretells the "just seed" that shall rest from the house of David -- the Son of David that shall reign as king, "and shall be wise, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth." So, too, Daniel, who announces the kingdom that the God of heaven shall found, "that shall never be destroyed, and shall stand for ever." And again he says: "I beheld, therefore, in the vision of the night, and, lo! one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven. And he came even to the Ancient of days: and they presented him before him. And he gave him power and glory and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes, and tongues shall serve him. His power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed." The prophecy of Zachary concerning the merciful King "riding upon an ass and upon a colt the foal of an ass" entering Jerusalem as "the just and savior," amid the acclamations of the multitude, was recognized as fulfilled by the holy evangelists themselves.
This same doctrine of the Kingship of Christ which we have found in the Old Testament is even more clearly taught and confirmed in the New. The Archangel, announcing to the Virgin that she should bear a Son, says that "the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father, and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
Moreover, Christ himself speaks of his own kingly authority: in his last discourse, speaking of the rewards and punishments that will be the eternal lot of the just and the damned; in his reply to the Roman magistrate, who asked him publicly whether he were a king or not; after his resurrection, when giving to his Apostles the mission of teaching and baptizing all nations, he took the opportunity to call himself king, confirming the title publicly, and solemnly proclaimed that all power was given him in heaven and on earth. These words can only be taken to indicate the greatness of his power, the infinite extent of his kingdom. What wonder, then, that he whom St. John calls the "prince of the kings of the earth" appears in the Apostle's vision of the future as he who "hath on his garment and on his thigh written 'King of kings and Lord of lords!'." It is Christ whom the Father "hath appointed heir of all things"; "for he must reign until at the end of the world he hath put all his enemies under the feet of God and the Father."
It was surely right, then, in view of the common teaching of the sacred books, that the Catholic Church, which is the kingdom of Christ on earth, destined to be spread among all men and all nations, should with every token of veneration salute her Author and Founder in her annual liturgy as King and Lord, and as King of Kings. And, in fact, she used these titles, giving expression with wonderful variety of language to one and the same concept, both in ancient psalmody and in the Sacramentaries. She uses them daily now in the prayers publicly offered to God, and in offering the Immaculate Victim. The perfect harmony of the Eastern liturgies with our own in this continual praise of Christ the King shows once more the truth of the axiom: Legem credendi lex statuit supplicandi. The rule of faith is indicated by the law of our worship.
The foundation of this power and dignity of Our Lord is rightly indicated by Cyril of Alexandria. "Christ," he says, "has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped, but his by essence and by nature." His kingship is founded upon the ineffable hypostatic union. From this it follows not only that Christ is to be adored by angels and men, but that to him as man angels and men are subject, and must recognize his empire; by reason of the hypostatic union Christ has power over all creatures. But a thought that must give us even greater joy and consolation is this that Christ is our King by acquired, as well as by natural right, for he is our Redeemer. Would that they who forget what they have cost their Savior might recall the words: "You were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled." We are no longer our own property, for Christ has purchased us "with a great price"; our very bodies are the "members of Christ."
Let Us explain briefly the nature and meaning of this lordship of Christ. It consists, We need scarcely say, in a threefold power which is essential to lordship. This is sufficiently clear from the scriptural testimony already adduced concerning the universal dominion of our Redeemer, and moreover it is a dogma of faith that Jesus Christ was given to man, not only as our Redeemer, but also as a law-giver, to whom obedience is due. Not only do the gospels tell us that he made laws, but they present him to us in the act of making them. Those who keep them show their love for their Divine Master, and he promises that they shall remain in his love. He claimed judicial power as received from his Father, when the Jews accused him of breaking the Sabbath by the miraculous cure of a sick man. "For neither doth the Father judge any man; but hath given all judgment to the Son." In this power is included the right of rewarding and punishing all men living, for this right is inseparable from that of judging. Executive power, too, belongs to Christ, for all must obey his commands; none may escape them, nor the sanctions he has imposed. (Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas, December 11, 1925.)
The Three Kings from the Orient knew simply what was expressed so eloquently by Pope Pius XI. They knew that the King of Kings had manifested His guiding star to them, symbolic of the fact that it would be His Holy Light that would pierce through the darkness during the Easter vigil to announce, as is sung in the Easter Exsultet, that the power of sin and eternal death had been conquered forever.
The King of Love on Calvary, resting as a Infant at the time he was adored by the Kings from the Orient, must receive, therefore, the homage of the hearts of all men in this world without fail. He must also receive the honor that is due Him from nations, which is why Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King. And we know that one of the chief fruits of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which will be ushered by the proper consecration of Russia to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart by a true pope with all of the world's bishops, will be the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King. All of the false kings of our own day, including the demigod of the United States Constitution, which has no place for Christ the King or His true Church in its text, will be swept away just as the aftermath of what remained of Montezuma's superstitions and diabolical practices were swept away following Our Lady's apparitions to Saint Juan Diego in 1531.
Pope Pius XI reiterated Our Lord's Social Kingship in Quas Primas:
Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: "His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ." Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society. "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved." He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. "For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?" If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. "With God and Jesus Christ," we said, "excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation." (Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas, December 11, 1925)
One of our own many duties as Catholics is to help to plant the seeds for the day when all days will indeed make Our Lord manifest in every aspect of their laws and popular culture. Everything is meant to be referred to Christ the King and to Mary our Immaculate Queen. How do we do this? Well, it is actually quite simple.
To be of some small service in the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King we must first let Him reign as the King of our own hearts. Not just some part of our hearts. Not just some part of our hearts some of the time.
No, Our Lord is meant to reign as the King of the totality of our hearts, consecrated as they must be to His Most Sacred Heart through the Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother, at all times without even skipping a beat. Those who permit Christ to reign as King over the totality of their hearts at all times will be more ready to exercise their own role as kings by governing themselves according to the Mind of Christ and by loving with His Most Sacred Heart, of disciplining themselves in the midst of temptation, of rooting out sloth and vice by cooperating with the merits won for us by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross, of forgiving others as readily and as unconditionally as He forgives us in the Sacrament of Penance, of helping Catholics who have gone astray to find their way back into the fullness of the Faith Itself that has been under attack by the doctrinal and liturgical revolutionaries of conciliarism, and of helping those outside of the Church to know of the true happiness that comes only from adoring the King of Kings as He has made Himself manifest solely through His true Church, founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope.
Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., reminded us in his The Light of the World that this feast today is indeed about the fact that kings of this earth paid homage to Christ the King, Who lay in His mean estate as a helpless, dependent baby:
The feast of the Epiphany is and should be a feast which is celebrated in honor of Christ the divine King. We pay our homage to Him by our prayers and by our celebration of the liturgy, which we share with the Church in heaven and on earth. We pay homage to Him by submitting our intelligence to faith, to His words, to His teachings, to His gospel, to His Church and its dogmas. And even if all others were to desert Him, yet we should remain true to Him and cry out with St. Peter, "Thou has the words of eternal life" (John 7:69). We honor Him by subjecting our wills to His ordinances and commands, to His sacraments, and to His Church. "He that hath My commandments and keepeth them; he it is that loveth Me" (John 14:21). "He that heareth you [the Church], heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me" (Luke 10:16). We pay homage to Him by subjecting ourselves to His operation in us. We honor Him by our resignation and subjection in afflictions and humiliations, by our inner purification and mortifications, and by the duties and obligations of our everyday life. We glorify Him by not attributing to ourselves, to our own good will, to our own efforts or strength, the good works which we perform. With the Apostle we humbly acknowledge, "For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish, according to His own good will" (Phil. 2:13). With grateful hearts we cry out, "Not to us, O lord, not to us; but to Thy name give glory" (Ps. 113:1) We honor Him by applying to our lives the admonition of the Epistle of today's Mass: by making our bodies and souls a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God. We glorify Him if we transform ourselves by His spirit and shape our lives according to the pattern He has given us, doing only that which is in accord with the will of God and is perfect and pleasing to Him, living in union with Holy Mother the Church.
Christ is King. That is the theme of the feast of Epiphany. "And we saw His glory, the glory as it were of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). This glory Christ has won through His victory on the cross. For this reason neither the Church nor the members of the mystical body can achieve glory without a sacrifice and a cross. "Ought not Christ to have suffered these thins and so to enter into His glory? (Luke 24:26).
Therefore we bring our bodies and all that we posses sand present them as an offering on the altar. With Stephen we share the passion of Christ, and thus we go to attain our glory in the Offertory, in the Consecration, and in Holy Communion.
We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, on the altar. This we are to do not only at the time of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but at every hour of the day and in the ordinary affairs of everyday life. We must not be conformed to the manner of this world, but we must reform ourselves through the renewal of our spirit. We are thus to prove what is the good and the acceptable, the perfect will of God. We are to live in the consciousness that all of us together form one living organism, the body of Christ (in the community of the Church), and that we are members of one another and of Christ our Lord (Epistle). We live the life of the whole, the life of the community, the life of the mystical body of Christ. That is the Lord's command. "This is My commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12).
May Christ be King of my whole being, of my thoughts, my will, my affections and of my desires. May His will be done in all things. This is my ambition when I celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with Him today. I consecrate myself to Him, and through Him and in Him I consecrate myself to the Father. (Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., The Light of the World, Volume I, B. Herder Book Company, St. Louis, Missouri, 1953, pp. 146-148.)
Even the likes of Barack Hussein Obama and Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., and Nancy Pelosi and George Walker Bush and John Boehner and Rand Paul and Christopher Christie and Andrew Mark Cuomo and Harry Reid and all other civil potentates must bend the knee as they adore and submit to Christ the King as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through His Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.
The Prophet Who is Proclaimed by His Father in Heaven
Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was honored by Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar as the Prophet. Myrrh was given to Him as an Infant, signifying that His Body would taste the bitter bangs of death so as destroy the power of sin and eternal death forever. The death of Our Lord on the wood of the Holy Cross was the very reason that He began His Public Ministry shortly after the symbolic baptism He received from His cousin, Saint John the Baptist. It was as Our Lord ascended from the waters of the Jordan River that a voice proclaimed, "This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased." (Mt. 3: 17)
That proclamation from God the Father came as Our Lord manifested Himself to Saint John the Baptist and thus began the work of preaching and teaching with the authority that none of the Prophets of the Old Covenant had exhibited. Our Lord manifested Himself to be God, working numerous prodigies (restoring sight to the blind, hearing to the death, mobility to the paralyzed, raising the dead, expelling demons). And though the Prophets of the Old Law had been dealt with harshly at times, none of them endured the Passion that had been foretold of Our Lord by Isaias in his Suffering Servant songs. The King of Kings Who had proclaimed Himself to be the very fulfillment of all of the Prophets of the Old Testament suffered precisely because the proclamation of His Gospel required people to change their lives forever.
As Isaias noted:
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? And he shall grow up as a tender plant before him, and as a root out of a thirsty ground: there is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of him: Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth. He was taken away from distress, and from judgment: who shall declare his generation? because he is cut off out of the land of the living: for the wickedness of my people have I struck him. And he shall give the ungodly for his burial, and the rich for his death: because he hath done no iniquity, neither was there deceit in his mouth. And the Lord was pleased to bruise him in infirmity: if he shall lay down his life for sin, he shall see a long-lived seed, and the will of the Lord shall be prosperous in his hand.
Because his soul hath laboured, he shall see and be filled: by his knowledge shall this my just servant justify many, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I distribute to him very many, and he shall divide the spoils of the strong, because he hath delivered his soul unto death, and was reputed with the wicked: and he hath borne the sins of many, and hath prayed for the transgressors. (Isaias 53: 1-11)
This great feast of the Epiphany--which signifies His manifestations as God to the Three Kings and in His baptism by Saint John and at the wedding feast in Cana--is really made manifest to us over and over again in the context of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is there that Our Lord is made manifest to us God under the appearances of bread and wine, that Adoration is given to the Father through Him in Spirit and in Truth, that His Word is proclaimed to each generation, that we are able to rise above the cares of this passing world to be better prepared for the moment of our own Particular Judgments, when the veil that covers the eyes of our souls at present will be stripped away and we will see ourselves clearly in the plain light of the Eternal Daystar Himself, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Saint Augustine, commenting on Psalm 90 wrote:
Prophecy has thus been kindled for us, in the midst of these toils and sorrows of the night, like a lamp in the darkness, until day dawn, and the Day-star arise in our hearts. For blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God: then shall the righteous be filled with that blessing for which they hunger and thirst now, while, walking in faith, they are absent from the Lord. Hence are the words, "In Thy presence is fulness of joy:" and, "Early in the morning they shall stand by, and shall look up:" and as other translators have said it, "We shall be satisfied with Thy mercy in the morning;" then they shall be satisfied. As he says elsewhere, "I shall be satisfied, when Thy glory shall be revealed." So it is said, "Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us:" and our Lord Himself answereth, "I will manifest Myself to Zion;" and until this promise is fulfilled, no blessing satisfies us, or ought to do so, lest our longings should be arrested in their course, when they ought to be increased until they gain their objects. "And we rejoiced and were glad all the days of our life." Those days are days without end: they all exist together: it is thus they satisfy us: for they give not way to days succeeding: since there is nothing there which exists not yet because it has not reached us, or ceases to exist because it has passed; all are together: because there is one day only, which remains and passes not away: this is eternity itself. These are the days respecting which it is written, "What man is he that lusteth to live, and would fain see good days?" These days in another passage are styled years: where unto God it is said, "But Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail:" for these are not years that are accounted for nothing, or days that perish like a shadow: but they are days which have a real existence, the number of which he who thus spoke, "Lord, let me know mine end" (that is, after reaching what term I shall remain unchanged, and have no further blessing to crave), "and the number of my days, what it is" (what is, not what is not): prayed to know. He distinguishes them from the days of this life, of which he speaks as follows, "Behold, Thou hast made my days as it were a span long," which are not, because they stand not, remain not, but change in quick succession: nor is there a single hour in them in which our being is not such, but that one part of it has already passed, another is about to come, and none remains as it is. But those years and days, in which we too shall never fail, but evermore be refreshed, will never fail. Let our souls long earnestly for those days, let them thirst ardently for them, that there we may be filled, be satisfied, and say what we now say in anticipation, "We have been satisfied," etc. "We have been comforted again now, after the time that Thou hast brought us low, and for the years wherein we have seen evil".
But now in days that are as yet evil, let us speak as follows. "Look upon Thy servants, and upon Thy works" . For Thy servants themselves are Thy works, not only inasmuch as they are men, but as Thy servants, that is, obedient to Thy commands. For we are His workmanship, created not merely in Adam, but in Christ Jesus, unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them: "for it is God which worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure." "And direct their sons:" that they may be right in heart, for to such God is bountiful; for "God is bountiful to Israel, to those that are right in heart." . . .
"And let the brightness of the Lord our God be upon us" ; whence the words, "O Lord, the light of Thy countenance is marked upon us." And, "Make Thou straight the works of our hands upon us:" that we may do them not for hope of earthly reward: for then they are not straight, but crooked. In many copies the Psalm goes thus far, but in some there is found an additional verse at the end, as follows, "And make straight the work of our hands." To these words the learned have prefixed a star, called an asterisk, to show that they are found in the Hebrew, or in some other Greek translations, but not in the Septuagint. The meaning of this verse, if we are to expound it, appears to me this, that all our good works are one work of love: for love is the fulfilling of the Law. For as in the former verse he had said, "And the works of our hands make Thou straight upon us," here he says "work," not works, as if anxious to show, in the last verse, that all our works are one, that is, are directed with a view to one work. For then are works righteous, when they are directed to this one end: "for the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned." There is therefore one work, in which are all, "faith which worketh by love:" whence our Lord's words in the Gospel, "This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him whom He hath sent." Since, therefore, in this Psalm, both old and new life, life both mortal and everlasting, years that are counted for nought, and years that have the fulness of loving-kindness and of true joy, that is, the penalty of the first and the reign of the Second Man, are marked so very clearly; I imagine, that the name of Moses, the man of God, became the title of the Psalm, that pious and right-minded readers of the Scriptures might gain an intimation that the Mosaic laws, in which God appears to promise only, or nearly only, earthly rewards for good works, without doubt contains under a veil some such hopes as this Psalm displays. But when any one has passed over to Christ, the veil will be taken away: and his eyes will be unveiled, that he may consider the wonderful things in the law of God, by the gift of Him, to whom we pray, "Open Thou mine eyes, and I shall see the wondrous things of Thy law. (St. Augustine: Exposition on
Yes, Our Lord is the fulfillment of the Prophets. He is the Prophet of the New and Eternal Testament Who has entrusted His teaching to Holy Mother Church for its safekeeping and infallible explication. We have the obligation to make known His teaching in the midst of our own world today, doing exactly what the Apostles themselves started to do as soon as God the Holy Ghost had descended in tongues of flame upon them and Our Lady on Pentecost Sunday, that is, to "Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine." (2 Tim. 4: 2) Indeed, we are living in times prophesied by Saint Paul to Saint Timothy in that very Epistle, times in which Catholics, including those in the hierarchy have "itching" ears and who refuse to accept everything that has been handed down to them without one iota of change or dissent:
For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober. (2 Tim. 3: 5)
Saint Paul also wrote:
Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you. (1 Cor. 1-2)
Thus, we have duties in our own days, when what has been delivered down to us from the Apostles has been distorted and made ambiguous by the spiritual robber barons of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, to defend that which has been handed down to us without any distortion or ambiguity.
We have the obligation to make manifest Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ exactly as He has made Himself manifest throughout the ages, starting on the first Epiphany.
We have the obligation to hold fast to the truths of the Catholic Faith and to her perennial form of worship in the Roman Rite at all times and in all places, even to the point of ridicule and the loss of friends and prestige. So what? The Apostles of the King of Kings were willing to give up their lives. The millions of martyrs who followed them shed their own blood in defense of the Chief Priest and Victim of every Mass. The Fathers and the Doctors of the Church have proclaimed most excellently His precepts in the midst of rampant heresies. We must not shrink from our own duties in these difficult times. We must make Our Lord and the fullness of His truths manifest in every aspect of our lives at all times.
The silent and just man of the House of David, Saint Joseph, watched and marveled as the Three Kings adored his foster-Child. He watches and marvels as we adore Him in His Real Presence. He smiles approvingly as we pay homage to his chaste spouse, Our Most Blessed Mother, and guides us gently as we intercede with him in our own efforts to be as Christ-like as he was in everything he did to fulfill God's will in us own life, thus serving as a special patron and guardian in the midst of the shipwrecks that the Church is experience in her human elements at present. We entrust ourselves to Saint Joseph, therefore, to help us be ready to be Christ to all who come looking for Him in us, to see others with the eyes of Christ, to speak with the voice of Christ, and to love with the Sacred Heart of Christ, leaning so readily on the Immaculate Heart that warmed the life of the Holy Family of Nazareth at all times.
Although the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Kings of the Orient to adore the Infant Jesus is obscured from the vision of many men day, we continue to beseech Our Lady and Saint Joseph that all men we come to see that star shines in the Catholic Church, and that those in the Church's hierarchy will come to realize that her star shines brightest when the fog of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the Church is given no room to breathe in her worship and in her proclamation of Gospel of the Priest, Prophet, and King adored by the Gentiles for the first time on this day.
This is the day upon which to give a few simple gifts to our children and to our spouses. This day, the Twelfth Day of Christmas, is the day to continue to wish others a Blessed and Merry Christmas. For Christ is being borne to the Gentiles this day. May we rejoice with thanks and praise on this glorious day, making haste to meet the Three Kings and the Holy Family in the offering of the Mass of all ages, which is still kept on this solemn day, January 6. May our worship this day and every day be but a foretaste of the eternal glories of Heaven itself.
A blessed Feast of the Epiphany to you all.
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.