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Solemnity of the Epiphany, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session: Isaiah 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Jesus our Light,
the gift of your saving love is for all people.
Help us to follow the light of your love.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

 

Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is God’s universal gift of salvation. To begin, light a candle and place it in the center of the room. Brainstorm with the children what comes to their minds when they think of the word light. Write down their responses. Discuss:

  • How do lights help people to find their way?
  • Why is Jesus called the light of the world?
  • Who helps you find your way to Jesus?

Allow time for discussion. The Magi followed the light of a star to find their way to Jesus. On today’s Feast of the Epiphany we celebrate that God’s salvation is for all people.

 

Listening to the Word of God

In today’s Old Testament reading listen to how the glory of the Lord shines like a great light.

Read Isaiah 60:1-6.

Allow for silence.

 

Scripture Discussion Starters

How is the glory of the Lord described?
Who will come to God’s light?
How is the joy of the people shown in the reading?

In the Gospel today listen to how the wise men are guided by the light of a star.

Read Matthew 2:1-12.
Allow for silence.

  • Why do the wise men follow the star?
  • Where does the light of the star lead them?
  • What do the magi do when they find Jesus?

 

Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings using the Catechist Background section.

The Solemnity of the Epiphany has a rich tradition all around the world. By translating its name epiphania, which means “revelation,” we find the rich meaning of today’s feast. On this feast we celebrate the revelation of God’s saving love in Jesus. The offer of God’s salvation is for all people. This is made clear by the presence of the Gentiles found in all of today’s readings.

The first reading from the Old Testament reflects the joy felt by the people of Jerusalem after their return from Exile. God’s light has come and God’s people are delivered. God’s saving act is like a beacon of light shining before the entire world, showing the compassion and love of the Lord. Even Gentiles are drawn to God’s radiant light, as they stream toward Jerusalem from every corner of the earth.

In today’s Gospel the wise men from the east are drawn to the Savior by the light of a star. These Magi are foreigners. They are Gentiles who have never learned about the Law or the prophets. However, these foreigners find their way to the Christ child and honor him. The Gospel today shows how the journey of the Magi is a journey of faith, guided by the light of God’s love. The wise men follow a star, which leads them to Christ the light of salvation.

 

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What is the meaning of Epiphany?
  • How did the magi honor the Christ child?
  • How do you honor Jesus?

[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]

 

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Universal Offer of Salvation

Today’s feast of the Epiphany proclaims that God’s gift of salvation is for all people. The word Epiphany means to show forth or to make visible. On Epiphany we are reminded that Jesus, the Savior of the world, was made visible to the magi. Jesus welcomes all those who seek him.

The Catholic Church believes that all are meant to share in God’s love. “The Church’s essential nature is universal…preaching the Word of God and proclaiming the kingdom throughout the whole world”(AG 1).

  • Where do you find Jesus?
  • Who does Jesus welcome?
  • How does the Church work to spread God’s love?

 

The Gospel in Life

How can you help others find their way to Jesus?

 

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 23
Grade 4, page parish and page 359 school
Grade 5, page parish and page 359 school
Grade 6, page parish and page 359 school

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Posted in: Sessions A , Sessions B , Sessions C