Troparion Tone 4
Holy Messiah, King of Kings, may your message be heard by the wise King and the simple Shepherd today and each day.
Reading from the Gospel of Isaiah
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, and the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.
~Chapter: 60, Chapters: 1 to 6
Reading from the Book of Psalm
Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son. May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness. May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor. May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth. In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abounds until the moon is no more. May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts. May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service. For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence, he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight.
~Chapter: 72, Verses: 1 to 7, and 10 to 14
Reading from the Gospel of Matthew
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'” Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
~Chapter: 2, Verses: 1 to 12
Epiphany comes from the Greek word Manifestation, it is the most condensed and direct transmission of the message of the entire advent season. It is the living message of hope, love, and compassion.
Living hope in the action very true sense of the word. Walking in prayer of renewed hope of the season. Hope that what was being suffered has ended and healing can begin. Hope for ourselves, one another, and our entire physical and spiritual community.
Love in all of its ways must be shared, it can be in the generosity of personal wealth and possessions, or gifts of time and labor. Togetherness in every way possible is what we are called to do. You cannot rejoice without love. All voices together as one love, one joy is how we are being called. Love one another is the strongest and only commandment of Christ.
Compassion, especially active dynamic compassion, is the partner to the hope and love of this season. We are called upon to use compassion in our thoughts, words, and deeds. This must manifest in us personally as individuals looking inwardly, then into our relationship with those around us, are we compassionate to those closest to us? We must examine ourselves and our compassion spiritually, are we spiritually compassionate in our lives of faith? Collectively do we perform compassionate actions for direct community healing? The answer to these questions must be yes if we are to spiritually and physically be consciously compassionate.
We are called to hope, love, and compassion this season. May you find yourself rich in all three, and generously pour it forth upon all you share your holiday with.