Reflections for

Epiphany of the Lord, Jan 06, 2018

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Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12

Books

Jesus Was a Migrant, by Deirdre Cornell, and Border Patrol Nation, by Todd Miller

Two new books on immigration complement each other well. And where Todd Miller’s falls short, Deirdre Cornell’s shines most brightly.

Poetry

First day of creation

Let there be light! A flash, a bolt, a brilliant blaze
that puts the kibosh on chaos. Let light shine on width, breadth,
depth, a dazzle to illuminate all matter everywhere. Let it glint
gloriously off ocean wave, sea swell, a brooklet’s little ripples.

Let fish rejoice in it fantastically, the fur of fox, cat, cougar,
coyote be haloed. Let light’s hot pulse pull prairie grass, kinnikinnik
up, up to verdant growth, turn grain from green to gold.
In every garden everywhere let peonies, nasturtiums and

preposterous begonias unfold. Let every butterfly, bat, bird
bathe in radiance. Let it pour mornings into breakfast bowls,
fill empty cups to overflowing. At evening let light’s long plumes
linger: violet and vivid on every atom of creation.

When darkness closes in, shrouding the valley floor,
let sky be spangled still, lit with the glow of meteors,
the murky milky way, the white hot stars. O Light of life,
Light of the wobbling world: your splendor does not tarnish,

will not be overcome by random avalanche,
smart missile, guns, flood, smoke of forest fire.
Your warmth will melt the iron grip of fear.
A stone-cold guarded grave can never hold you.

On Art

Adoration of the Magi, by Gentile da Fabriano (ca. 1423)

The adoration of the Magi was an important subject for Florentines, as many men were part of the civic organization dedicated to the Magi. Palla Strozzi, a powerful banker, commissioned Gentile da Fabriano (1385–1427) to paint this work for his family burial chapel in the sacristy of Santa Trinita in Florence. Da Fabriano’s paintings combine the naturalism of the Early Renaissance with the elegant, refined drapery style and meticulous attention to detail that characterize the International Gothic style. In this composition, the oldest Magus prostrates himself before the Christ child, who affectionately touches his balding head; the second Magus lifts his right hand to remove his crown; the youngest Magus stands waiting his turn. The predella (the horizontal panel beneath the central composition) shows three scenes from the infancy narrative of Christ: Nativity (bottom left) is believed to be the first painted night scene.

 

Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.