Dear Friends in Jesus Christ…,
HAPPY NEW YEAR and Merry Christmas. Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. We see the wise men bringing gifts to Jesus. I remember a story about the Blessed Mother Mary sharing a dream she had with St. Joseph.
She says, “I had a dream, Joseph. I don’t understand it, but I think it was about a birthday celebration for our Son. The people in my dream had been preparing for about six weeks. They had decorated the house and bought new clothes. They’d gone shopping many times and bought many elaborate gifts. It was peculiar, though, because the presents weren’t for our Son. They wrapped them in beautiful paper and stacked them under a tree. Yes, a tree, Joseph, right inside their homes! They’d decorated the tree with sparkling ornaments. There was a figure like an angel on the top of the tree. Everyone was laughing and happy. They gave the gifts to each other, Joseph, not to our Son. I don’t think they even knew Him. They never mentioned His name. I had the strangest feeling that, if our Jesus had gone to this celebration, He would have been intruding. How sad for someone not to be wanted at His own birthday party! I’m glad it was only a dream. How terrible Joseph, if it had been real!”
I believe that we haven’t forgotten Jesus this Christmas. Today we see the wise men brings gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh to Jesus and Him homage; Gold because Jesus is king, Frankincense is because Jesus is divine; and Myrrh is prefiguring his Passion. What do we have to give him? Can we spend some time with baby Jesus? Baby Jesus, we do not have gold, frankincense and myrrh to give you, but we can give you our love. Let our love be your manger. For a moment now let us love baby Jesus…..
Jesus you send a star to guide the wise men to you. It went ahead of them. I believe you send stars to guide us. In the darkness of this world we have all been given help on our journey to God: the beauty of nature, the Word of God in Sacred Scripture, the sacraments, Spirit-filled witnessing and preaching, the faith of others and our own faith. We thank you, Jesus, for giving us stars to lead us to you….. We read in the Gospel, when the wise men arrived in Jerusalem, it seems they no longer had the guidance of the star. Otherwise, they would not have had to ask Herod for advice. Sometimes we too feel as if we’re in the dark, like the Magi, because we stray from you. Sometimes we rely on other things that can bring danger to us and you, like King Herod. Sometimes we see only darkness around us. But we know that you are there, Jesus, and that eternal life awaits us even if sometimes in this world there is no star for us. Lord, in our moments of darkness without a star, or in times we stray from you, help us not to give up, but to keep searching, hoping and praying because that would be the best way forward. Give us the grace not to give up on you or on our faith. We love you, Jesus.
God Bless You,