Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Misssal,
unless stated otherwise.
Mass For The Sunday Within The Octave Of The Epiphany.
[In 2018, this Mass is Celebrated on Monday, 8 January. due to
The Feast of The Holy Family taking precedence on Sunday, 7 January.]
Illustration: UNA VOCE OF ORANGE COUNTY
Artist: René de Cramer.
Used with Permission.
From twelve-years-old, a Jew was bound each year to keep The Three Feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. In The Liturgy for Christmastide, the whole of Our Lord's childhood is put before us and today we see Him in the Temple, where, for the first time, He shows the Jews that God is His "Father" (Gospel).
"It was by no accident," says Saint Ambrose, "that this Child, Who, even according to the flesh, was full of Wisdom and Grace of God, forgetting His human parents, should wish to be found after three days in the Temple.
"By this, He intimated that, three days after The Triumph of His Passion, He, Who was believed to be dead, should rise again and so offer Himself as the object of our Faith, seated on a Heavenly Throne in Heavenly Glory. The truth is that, in His case, there is a two-fold birth; the one by which He is begotten by The Father, the other by which He is born of a Mother.
"The first is wholly Divine; by the second, He humbles Himself to take our nature" (Third Nocturn). This "Man sitting upon a High Throne, Whom a multitude of Angels Adore, singing together" (Introit) is, therefore, that Divine Child, Who is shown to us in today's Gospel.
"Sitting in the midst of the doctors, who "were astonished at his wisdom and answers", Moreover, since, "as God hath delivered to everyone the measure of Faith" (Epistle), Christian Souls form but "one body in Christ" (Epistle), they ought to be penetrated with the wisdom of Him who, far from "conforming Himself to the maxims of this World," reforms "and rules human life according to The Will of God" (Epistle).
"Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business ?" said the young boy, Jesus. This wholly supernatural wisdom, whose guiding principles exceed, without destroying, those of the natural order, is beyond our unaided powers. While seeking to curb our flesh by the mortification which such wisdom enjoins, sacrificing, at times, even the most lawful affection, in pursuance of a Divine Call which draws children from their parents' side, the plans of Almighty God must needs remain for us hidden Mysteries to be accepted without being completely understood.
"They understood not the word that He spoke unto them" (Gospel). Following Mary, who "kept all these words in her heart" (Gospel), let us meditate on the sublimity of Jesus' words and actions in the Temple. Like this Child, Whose whole life at Nazareth is summed up in the one word "subjection" (Gospel), let us grow in wisdom so that always we may "perceive what we ought to do," and in strength "to fulfil the same" (Collect).
Mass: In excélso.
Second Collect: Of The Epiphany (if during The Octave).
Creed: If during The Octave.
Preface: Of The Epiphany (if during The Octave).
Communicantes: If during The Octave.