Sunday School–Week Thirteen–The Epiphany of the Lord

“When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
‘Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.'” (Mat. 2:1-13)

“Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

Source: USCCB.Org

For Parents to Teach to Their Children

The Gospel January 6, 2019 MT 2:1-12

Source: USCCB.Org

“When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.”

For Families to Share Together:

Pray the Rosary with your children.  Show them how to use the Rosary crucifix to cross themselves. The Rosary teaches the life of Jesus and is an important part of learning about our faith.

Last year, I saw a portion of “How to Pray the Rosary” of EWTN. The small part that I saw was so helpful. The speaker, Dr. Edward Sri, stated that there was a “hinge” between the first portion of “Hail Mary” and “Holy Mary” and that the hinge is the name “Jesus.” He suggested that we give the name of Jesus special attention and that we could reflect on one of the Mysteries, when we say His name. I have been using this technique and it makes a huge difference in giving this prayer the depth and reverence it deserves. Try saying the name, “Jesus” with a special emphasis or intonation, that indicates He is God.

How to Pray the Rosary Source: Catholic Child’s Prayer Book  By Rev. Thomas J. Donaghy St. Joseph Junior Books, Page 15 “We begin the Rosary with the sign of the Cross (for this is the way that we begin all of our prayers.)

After this, we pray the Apostles’ Creed. This is a very ancient prayer that proclaims the important truths of our faith.

After the Apostle’s Creed, we pray one Our Father, three Hail Marys and one Glory Be.

Now we come to the most important reason we pray the Rosary: to meditate on the Mysteries of our Faith. We proclaim each of the five Mysteries, followed by one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, and one Glory Be.

Remember, the reason for praying the Rosary is not to tally how many prayers we can say. It is to meditate on God’s love as shown in the lives of Jesus and Mary. This is why we hold the Rosary while we pray, so that we can keep track of the number of prayers we have said.”

For the Baptism of Jesus on Sunday, January 13, let’s recite the Five Joyful Mysteries, and the Five Luminous Mysteries

We Recite the Mysteries

Beginning with The Joyful Mysteries (Normally, these are recited on Monday and Saturday.)

    1. The Annunciation“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to you word.” (Luke 1:38)
    2. The Visitation “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. (Luke 1:46-47)
    3. The Nativity “For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
    4. The Presentation “My eyes have seen your salvation.” (Luke 2:30)
    5. The Finding in the Temple “Did you not know that I needed to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:41-52)
  1.        Add the Five Luminous Mysteries (Normally, recited on Thursday.)
    1. The Baptism of the Lord“I have baptized you with water, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:8)
    2. The Wedding of Cana “What would you have Me do? My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4)
    3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2)
    4. The Transfiguration“His face became as dazzling as the sun, his clothes as radiant as light.” (Matthew 17:1-2)
    5. The Institution of the Eucharist “Jesus took bread, blessed it: ‘Take and eat, this is My Body.'” (Mark 14:22)

    Source: Magnifikid! Vol. 14.Part 9. Section 4
    And, from COMPENDIUM Catechism of the Catholic Church Appendix A. Common Prayers Page 189

    We Celebrate Through Song


    Talk about the meanings of the words in bold for important information and vocabulary building.

  2. 1 We three kings of Orient are;
    bearing gifts we traverse afar,
    field and fountain, moor and mountain,
    following yonder star.
    O star of wonder, star of light,
    star with royal beauty bright,
    westward leading, still proceeding,
    guide us to thy perfect light.
    O star of wonder, star of light,
    star with royal beauty bright,
    westward leading, still proceeding,
    guide us to thy perfect light.
    2 Born a King on Bethlehem‘s plain,
    gold I bring to crown him again,
    King forever, ceasing never,
    over us all to reign. [Refrain]
    3 Frankincense to offer have I;
    incense owns a Deity nigh;
    prayer and praising, voices raising,
    worshiping God on high. [Refrain]
    4 Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume
    breathes a life of gathering gloom;
    sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
    sealed in the stone-cold tomb. [Refrain]
    5 Glorious now behold him arise;
    King and God and sacrifice:
    Alleluia, Alleluia,
    sounds through the earth and skies.”
    United Methodist Hymnal, 1989
  3. To Hear The Tune

We Celebrate Through Art

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh–Gifts for a King


Gifts of the Magi

This art project for children can be done in many ways–with crayons on white paper, with watercolors on watercolor paper, as a cut-paper collage, or with inexpensive tempera paints–anything goes. The goal is to teach kids about the gifts the Magi brought to baby Jesus. I used tempera paint to paint circles on white watercolor paper to be cut out when dry. Next, I painted the colors gold, amber, and brown in three areas on a piece of watercolor paper, also to be cut out when dry. I assembled cut out “gold coins,” “amber-shaded” pieces of frankincense, and “woody-looking” bits of Myrrh. I used black construction paper for my background, glued the big circles of color on, then pasted the cut-out pieces of each gift onto a specific plate. liquid school glue works best. This can become a poster for your child’s room.

To Learn More

The three gifts had symbolism:

“In addition to the honor and status implied by the value of the gifts of the magi, scholars think that these three were chosen for their special spiritual symbolism about Jesus himself—gold representing his kingship, frankincense a symbol of his priestly role, and myrrh a prefiguring of his death and embalming—an interpretation made popular in the well-known Christmas carol ‘We Three Kings.'” Source:

“Animal, Mineral, or Vegetable?”

The three gifts were valuable. Gold is a mineral. It is mined from the earth and streams. It is beautiful and has been desirable and a source of money for thousands of years.

Frankincense and Myrrh come from plants and fit into the “vegetable” category. They are both sap from trees. They were highly valued and useful to many cultures, also for thousands of years.

We don’t have an example of “animal” among the three gifts, but gifts of ivory, teeth, fur, bones, feathers, or living animals would have also been highly valued gifts for weddings, or important people for many cultures since the beginning of human-kind.

The Epiphany of the Lord

“Arise! Shine, for your light has come,
the glory of the LORD has dawned upon you.”

Suggested Homework Activities

Please read from a Catholic Children’s Bible and/or an illustrated children’s Bible about the story of the Three Magi, for enrichment and comprehension.

Here are two excellent references:

The Catholic Children’s Bible Matthew 2 “Visitors from the East” Pages 1447-1450

The Catholic Children’s Bible

The Children’s Illustrated Bible “The Wise Men” Pages 196-197

The Children’s Illustrated Bible