Holidays/Feast Days

Epiphany? So What?

by Steve Ray on January 6, 2019

 What is Epiphany anyway? And why should I care?

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The Feast of the Epiphany – the Magi, the Baptism of Jesus and the Miracle of Cana all combined – is really quite fascinating. It was actually a celebration in the Church long before Christmas was celebrated and eventually overshadowed Epiphany.

John Paul II gave 52 Homilies that mention the word Epiphany, or are centered on the Epiphany. The word epiphany means a sudden insight, a revelation. In Christian terms it refers to the manifestation of Jesus’ divinity to the world. The Baptism of Our Lord was such an epiphany as the voice of God revealed the true nature of his Son. In Cana the disciples saw his glory and believed, and the Wise Men understood who he was so that even the Gentiles saw the glory of God.

Today is January 6, the Feast of Epiphany and WE ARE AT THE SITE OF JESUS’ BAPTISM (see video later today) – which was more important in the early Church for the Epiphany than the Magi’s arrival.

For Steve‘s article “Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds” click here. To read about the Epiphany in the Catholic Encyclopedia, click here

For brochures of upcoming pilgrimages and cruises, click here. For more info, call Suzanne at 800-727-1999, extension 121.

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Catechism on Epiphany: “The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Saviour of the world. The great feast of Epiphany celebrates 1) the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with 2) his baptism in the Jordan and 3) the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. In the magi, representatives of the neighbouring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. “

“The magi’s coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be king of the nations. Their coming means that (us) pagans can discover Jesus and worship him as Son of God and Saviour of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament. The Epiphany shows that “the full number of the nations” now takes its “place in the family of the patriarchs”, and acquires Israelitica dignitas–(is made “worthy of the heritage of Israel”).”  CCC 528

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SS999-21TissotJosephInShopSince we are in Nazareth today, I thought I would share a bit about the daily life of the Holy Family.

These videos were taken when I could still run. You will enjoy seeing where Jesus and Joseph worked, and their hometown as it is today. Join me for two running adventures.

Their life was very different from ours and I will take you on a walk/run through “A Day in the Life of the Holy Family.” The picture to the left is one of my favorite pictures of St. Joseph.

Having been to the Holy Land over 65 times my wife and I feel like we know them and have experienced their lives in a small way.

If you are interested, you can view two of my YouTube videos where I put on my running shoes and sweat a bit to explore the land of the Holy Family: 1) Running around inside Nazareth where the Holy Family lived, and 2) Running from Sepphoris to Nazareth where Jesus and Joseph worked during the day before hiking back home up into the hills of Nazareth.

Two of my articles you might like to read: 1) Is It Correct to Call Joseph the “Father” of Jesus, and 2) an interesting angle on the Ever-virginity of Mary.

We also produced a documentary on Mary, Mother of God and another which shows their life, Jesus, the Word Became Flesh. Also a talk I gave at a conference entitled, A Day in the Life of the Holy Family.

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Where Have All the Christmas Carols Gone?

by Steve Ray on December 25, 2018

I’m not that old. I’ll only be 64 years old this month but I still remember when the frosty month of December was filled with marvelous Christmas carols. It was like magic when the first snow covered the ground and the melodies sprang to life and everyone knew them, believed them and sang them with a smile on their face.

Christmas_Carols_HongKongI remember the glorious carols like “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World”, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Silent Night, Holy Night.”

Those warm and cozy memories are rare these winter days. Something is missing. The new generation is being deprived and the world has changed.

I sat for an hour in a dentist chair and heard a litany of secular Christmas songs. Not one religious Christmas carol was heard. All about Santa coming to town, Frosty the Snowman, “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” and “I’ll be home for Christmas” and “jingle bell rock”

t54223134-b389781788_s400These are all nice songs too and I remember them from my youth. But isn’t something wrong when I walked through the airport today and I saw mythical Santa, reindeers, Christmas trees but not one manger scene or reference to what it’s all really about? Christmas songs reverberated through the airport but again not one of the beautiful old classic Christmas carols. It had a tinny shallowness to it.

Christmas-Carols-1960-billboard-650It’s Christmas after all. It’s named after Christ which was celebrated for millennia by a Mass — thus Christ-Mass! And it is so bizarre that all the music heard today explicitly and dogmatically refuses to reference Christ which is what the whole holiday is about.

The insanity of our current secularism and pluralism has deprived us of far more than we realize. Our political correctness forces us to retreat in obsequious silence for fear of offending someone. I weep for the current and coming generations that will be so separated from the past that they will never experience what I once knew as a boy.

no-baby-jesusPeople say “Happy Holiday“ to avoid the dreaded association with Jesus Christ. But even when saying “Happy Holiday” they don’t realize that they’re using another Christian phrase. Where do you think the word “holiday” comes from? It means, “holy day” made sacred by the birth of Christ.

I remember in my younger years that the joy around Christmas had to do with Jesus Christ and the joy brought to the world by this divine Savior. It was reflected in the music we sang from our hearts.

I may be giving away my age again here but it reminds me of the Wendy’s commercial — a little old lady looking up from her hamburger bun and saying, “Where’s the beef?“ Approaching December again this year I feel like asking a similar question, “Where’s the heart? Where’s the meaning? Why deny the obvious?”

2012-01-08_00008As for me and my house, we still sing the beautiful religious Christmas carols, honor Christ as the center of Christmas, we will still celebrate Christ at Mass and pray for the days when modern people will hopefully again understand the true meaning and joy of the season.

I’ll enjoy some chestnuts roasting on an open fire but the whole time I’ll be singing, “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him.”

Below: This is beautiful and what Christmas is about – it may even give you chills.

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In 2 minutes Charlie Brown discover is the meaning of Christmas

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Was Jesus Born on December 25?

December 24, 2018

Yes, Christ Was Really Born on December 25: Here’s a Defense of the Traditional Date for Christmas   by Dr Taylor Marshall The following is adapted from Taylor Marshall’s new book: The Eternal City: Rome & and Origins of Catholic Christianity. This is a long article and quite convincing. I have only given Objection 3 to […]

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Christmas – when even Protestants put up Statues!

December 20, 2018

Christmas is that magical time of year when Protestants don’t have a problem with statues of Jesus, Mary, Saints and Angels! Isn’t that lovely (and inconsistent)?

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Webinar with Steve Ray & Teresa Tomeo: “Getting Along with Family & Friends over Christmas

December 19, 2018

Hope you can join us. We will be discussing, “Steve Ray’s 7 Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family & Friends. December 19th, 11-12 AM Eastern time. You can listen to this webinar anytime at http://teresatomeo.com/webcasts/

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Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds?

December 18, 2018

With upon us, I thought I would post my article this Christmas season with bits of interesting information and details about Christmas, the Gospels and Epiphany. Join us in Bethlehem for Christmas this year from December 26-January 4 or any of six times in 2015. Visit www.SteveGoes.com. Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds?  A […]

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Joachim & Anna: The Birth and Presentation of Our Lady, from a 2nd Century Document

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Join us next year on one of our pilgrimages to see Shrines of France and D-Day, Saints of Poland, Holy Land or Assisi and Rome!  Visit http://www.FootprintsOfGod.com ************************* FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF OUR BLESSED VIRGIN MARY November 21 “The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (as it is known in the West), or The […]

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Free St. Paul Timeline – We are in Ephesus today

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Since we are starting our St. Paul Mediterranean Cruise today, I thought I would share here a copy of my Timeline on St. Paul’s life and writings. Enjoy! Please print and share. Also get a copy of my DVD Paul, Contending for the Faith below filmed in 6 countries. Full study guide included.

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Queenship Of the Blessed Virgin – August 22

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Last week was the Feast of the Assumption of Mary and today, August 22 is the Queenship of Mary. The other day a man called to say my argument for the Assumption of Mary from the Old Testament was wrong. I had quoted 1 Kings 2:19 where Solomon had raised his mother to Queen of […]

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My Hero John Henry Cardinal Newman on “The Assumpion of Mary”

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Cardinal John Henry Newman converted to the Catholic faith. He has a unique and beautiful understanding of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You can read it here.

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Grilling a Deacon

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Tomorrow is the Feast Day of Deacon St. Lawrence. Young Deacon Lawrence (only 28 years old when killed) was the treasurer for the Church in Rome and responsible for the care of the poor. When the Emperor called Lawrence to appear before him he demanded that Deacon Lawrence–as the treasurer of the Church of Rome– turn […]

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Multiplication of Loaves a Miracle or Just a Lesson in Sharing?

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When confronted with this at Mass a while ago I wrote a letter to the priest which became an article in Catholic Answers Magazine. Article HERE. The priest said there was no miracle when Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish. All he did was teach selfish people to share and they pulled extra loaves and fish from […]

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Last Days of Sts. Peter and Paul in Rome

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Happy Feast Day of Sts. Peter and Paul…. When I take my pilgrims to Rome one of my main objectives is to introduce them to the saints – especially Peter and Paul. We meditate on the last days of the lives, imprisonments, martyrdoms and burials of these two Princes of the Apostles: Peter and Paul. Both of […]

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“He Descended into Hell” – a very lyrically and beautifully stated ancient homily

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The Lord’s Descent into Hell By an anonymous ancient homilist SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 2018  Posted on The Catholic Thing (which you should definitely subscribe to :-) What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and […]

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