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The First Sunday after the Epiphany

Augustine on Psalm XLVIII
Sunday after Epiphany Home

O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people who call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source Sacramentary of Bishop Gregory of Rome [600 AD]. It is based on James 4:17, John 13:17, and Luke 12:47 -[Barbee and Zahl]

O GOD, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Isaiah lx. 1, Psalm 47, 48 | 66, 67;   Romans xii. 1   &   St. Luke ii. 41 


Today, we continue to celebrate the Epiphany, remembering the visitation of our Lord by the wise men following the star.  We also examine psalm 48 through the understanding of  Augustine. The psalm reads,

 For lo, the kings of the earth were gathered, and gone by together. They marvelled to see such things; they were astonished,

Augustine commented,

. "For, lo, the kings of the earth are gathered together" (ver. 3). Behold now those sides of the North, see how they come, see how they say, "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord: and He will teach us His way, and we will walk in it." "And have come together in one." In what one, but that "corner-stone"? "They saw it, and so they marvelled" (ver. 4). After their marvelling at the miracles and glory of Christ, what followed? "They were troubled, they were moved" (ver. 5), "trembling took hold upon them." Whence took trembling hold upon them, but from the consciousness of sins? Let them run then, king after a king; kings, let them acknowledge the King. Therefore saith He elsewhere, "Yet have I been set by Him a King upon His holy hill of Sion."  ...A King then was heard of, set up in Sion, to Him were delivered possessions even to the uttermost parts of the earth. Kings behoved to fear lest they should lose the kingdom, lest the kingdom be taken from them. As wretched Herod feared, and for the Child slew the children. But fearing to lose his kingdom, he deserved not to know the King. Would that he too had adored the King with the Magi: not by ill-seeking the kingdom, slain the Innocents, and perished guilty. For as concerning him, he destroyed the Innocents: but as for Christ, even a Child, the children dying for Him did He crown. Therefore behoved kings to fear when it was said, "Yet have I been set a King by Him upon His holy hill of Sion," and inheritance to the uttermost parts of the earth shall He give Him, who set Him up King....Thence also this is said to them, "Understand now therefore, O ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto Him with trembling."

This verse and paragraph strike me as prophetic of kings who would come to know Christ as Sovereign. I am reminded of  great Christian regents who were notable defenders of the faith and examples to their subjects such as Roman Emperor Saint Constantine the Great, Roman Emperor Justinian the Great, King Albert the Great of EnglandKing Saint Louis of FranceQueen Saint Margaret of Scotland, and a host of others.  

As today's appointed collect states so well, God grant our latter-day regents such wisdom fear God and to seek Jesus in prayer as Sovereign, to know the good they ought to do, and the power to do what is right.

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


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