By Franciscan Community Volunteers
January 4, 2012 at 12:00am
It is our first blog post of the New Year! We send warm wishes to all our readers as the Christmas season wraps up - we hope it has been a relaxing and beautiful, family and friends-filled time for all!
Next week for community night, we'll be celebrating the Epiphany. The Epiphany is such a good time to reflect on what gifts we bring to Jesus in the form of the underserved, and what gifts we would like to cultivate in the coming year.
In the midst of their activity, the three wise men whose story we hear in the readings
for the Epiphany of the Lord serve as a model for contemplative listening. Their action flows from their attentive discernment of received guidance. The magi set out on their journey because they perceived the sign of their times in the star which heralded "'the newborn king of the Jews'" (Mt 2:2). They proceeded to Bethlehem in response to the prophetic Hebrew Scriptures, which the chief priests and scribes shared with these first Gentile believers through the unlikely mouthpiece of Herod (cf. Mt 2:8). And "they departed for their country by another way" because they heeded the Lord's message to them in a dream warning them not to return to Herod (Mt 2:12).
In addition to the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh which the magi laid at the Christ Child's feet, they made a gift of their lives with each step of their journey in search of Him. Matthew's account reveals the sincerity and depth of their quest: "They were overjoyed at seeing the star" (2:10) and fulfilling their desire to meet this singular king of kings.
As we journey into another year of Our Lord, what exterior gifts can we offer to Christ? The way we devote our time; the way we interact with family and friends, neighbors and strangers, and other creatures; and the way we order our material goods can be signs of Christ's kingship in our lives. Interiorly, how can we offer our very selves more fully to God's love? Let us listen attentively to direction from the Lord in varied ways, that we may perceive the direction in which we will find Christ and so lead others to the same joy.
FAN Director of Care for Creation