The First Sunday after the Epiphany

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] = DO WHAT IS RIGHT!

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.

Collect of Epiphany - said in the Octave of Epiphany

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

all that heard him were astonished at his understanding

Isaiah lx. 1

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.

Psalms 47, 48 | 66, 67

Romans xii. 1

I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

St. Luke ii. 41

NOW his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Other homilies: Chrysostom on Romans xii.1
Augustine on Psalm XLVII | XLVIII | LXVI

A Homily by Ambrose
On the Gospel

We read that when the Lord Jesus was twelve years old, he went up with his parents to Jerusalem ; and then he first began his work of teaching. The number of his years was the same as the number of the Apostles whom he afterwards sent forth to preach the Faith. Nor is it without meaning that he, (seemingly unmindful of his human parents, though his humanity was filled with wisdom and grace from God,) was pleased, after three days to be found in the Temple. For thereby he foreshadowed that, after the three days of his victorious passion, he, who had meanwhile been reckoned with the dead, would present himself, living, to our faith, seated on his heavenly throne in his divine majesty.

Of his parents he asketh : How is it that ye sought me? But note that there are two generations in Christ ; the one by which he is begotten of his divine Father, the other by which he is born of his human Mother. That from his Father is his Eternal Generation as God the Son ; that from his Mother is the same whereby he is invested with all that belongeth to our nature, and rendered a victim to our miseries. Therefore, any acts of his which are beyond his natural faculties, age, and condition, are not to be attributed to his human strength, but to the power of his Godhead. At a later time his Mother moveth him to work a miracle ; at which time he made answer on such wise as to shew, that what was of the Godhead should not be treated as though it had been of the Manhood. On this present occasion it is said that he was twelve years old, but on the other we are told that he already had disciples. Hence we perceive that his Mother, who had seen his wonders on this earlier occasion, was taught of her Son to call on the mightier nature for a work of power.

And he came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them. No wonder that the great Teacher of virtue should practice filial piety. And shall we marvel that he, who was subject to his Mother, went deferentially about his Father's business? His subjection to his Mother proceeded, not from weakness, but from dutiful affection. Nevertheless, the false serpent lifteth its head from its cruel lair, and spitteth poison from its venomous breast. The heretics say that, as the Son was sent by the Father, therefore the Father is greater than the Son ; and, if the Father be greater than the Son, there is then somewhat in which the Son is less than the Father ; yea, and that he, since he was as one sent, hath of necessity, need of some strengthening from outside himself, But was he subject to his Mother? Was he less than she? God forbid!

How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man