Begotten of the Father Before the Daystar Shone

“Begotten of the Father before the daystar shone”
From the Liturgy of the Hours, Epiphany, Vespers I, Antiphon 1
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”

Matthew 2:2
The Adoration of the Magi

The star that led the magi to the Infant Christ served the Eternal King who existed “before the daystar shone.” The antiphon from the Liturgy of the Hours draws on centuries of patristic reflection on Psalm 110:3, particularly the Septuagint and Vulgate (109:3) renderings: From the womb before the daystar I begot thee.

Psalm 110 points toward a transcendent, eternal relationship between God and the Messianic Son of David, Jesus explained, for David, inspired by the holy Spirit, called his own son “lord” (Mark 12:35-37). “The Father and I are one,” Jesus said, inciting the Jews to stone him for blasphemy (John 10:30). An earlier stoning attempt was prompted by Jesus’ claim: “Before Abraham came to be, I AM” (John 8:58). 

From Herod the Great to Herod Antipas, Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate, attempts to kill the person of the Son of God failed, for Jesus cannot die as God. As man he died on the Cross, but flesh united to the Son of God rose from the grave to live forever. The magi’s gifts of gold, frankincense and myrhh paid homage to the King of kings in his royal, priestly, and sacrificial roles. 

The star burned like a flame, pointing the way to God, the King of kings; the wise men saw the sign and brought their gifts in homage to their great King.

Liturgy of the Hours, Epiphany, Vespers I, Antiphon 3

One Reply to “Begotten of the Father Before the Daystar Shone”

  1. Dear GMC, Thank you for your reflection. May the star that the magi followed help us to look after each other as tenderly and intentionally as God and Mother Mary look after and care for us. And may His star reaffirm for us that although we are many, we are one in the body of Christ. Happy Feast of the Epiphany!!

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