Posted 8 January 2012 Posted by Fr. John Francis Murray, C.Ss.R.
After the 4:00 Mass this last Saturday, I found myself discussing the mysteries of the Blessed Trinity with a young altar server! The young boy was struggling with the doctrine, three persons in one God. He was obviously tuned into the feast day we were celebrating, the Solemnity of the Mother of God, but yet, he still had questions.
We all have questions, to be human is to seek, to understand. Besides the important message of God’s universal call to salvation this Sunday, there is another point I would like to stress. As we begin this New Year, I believe it is important for us to remember an aspect of our faith that is sometimes not appreciated; God is the one who initiates the life of faith in us.
I’m reminded of the Canaanite woman in the gospel of Matthew, a non-Jew, who came to Jesus because her daughter was tormented by a demon. His disciples wanted Jesus to send her away. Jesus goes on to say a few words to the woman, but then she does something just like the Magi in the gospel today, she came and did him homage, she then responds, “Lord help me.”
There are many other instances in the gospels where unlikely individuals are attracted to Jesus. Jeopardizing so much, they approach Jesus in faith. Like the magi in today’s gospel, these people were not coming to Jesus because of some “new idea” or some “new theory” that interested them. Throughout history, men and women of all races and cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities, have responded to the person of Jesus Christ.
It was no different with the “Three Wise Men.” These men willingly left everything, their home and country, and followed a star! The magi were on a journey of faith, searching for knowledge, responding to the grace of God. Their diligent search, their journey of faith, led them to the source of true knowledge, the person of Jesus Christ.
When the magi found the child Jesus, like the Canaanite woman, they immediately fell to their knees and adored the one born as Lord. Their passion for knowledge, combined with their openness to God’s grace, enabled them to make the journey to Bethlehem.
Like the Magi, we too are on a journey. God calls each one of us! Some of us however, may feel lost, struggling in the desert. Some advice from a fellow sojourner, try and remain open to the grace of God. Always remember, wherever you are, God is guiding you, even though the clouds may be thick and dark, the Star is above. God is in control.
Today we celebrate the story of the “Three Wise Men” not because they ‘found God,’ but because they emptied themselves and allowed God to “direct them” to his Son. Through Mary, our Mother, we pray that we be open to all the many graces our God desires to bestow upon us this New Year! God bless you! Fr. John Francis Murray, C.Ss.R.