Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
In today’s Gospel we meet more members of the familiar cast of characters in the Christmas story, the Magi. Often in Sacred Scripture the people we encounter are examples of who our loving God is encouraging us to be. In studying their interaction with God, we may discover ways in which God is communicating with us. While not much is historically known about the Magi, today I want to focus on what we do know from the Gospel, and what we may be able to learn from their example.
The Magi were curious and courageous. They had studied the ancient prophecies and they were searching the night sky for portents. When they see the star indicating the birth of a King they set out on the journey to pay Him homage. I do not know about you, but for me, celestial navigation through the desert to another country would definitely require a leap of faith!
The Magi listened more than they spoke. They asked questions and listened to the answers. They discerned for themselves what was valuable, the wisdom of the Hebrew Scriptures, and what was not, Herod’s attempt to manipulate them into helping him cling to political power.
Finally, the Magi were open to God’s communication. God spoke to the Magi through His creation, the natural world, and the Magi were ready to listen. He also spoke to them through His angels in a dream, warning them not to return to Herod, and again, they listened and obeyed. They were ready to encounter God wherever they found Him, even in a cold stable in a foreign land.
Our God invites us to be curious and inquisitive about the world in which we live, His creation. God encourages us to ask questions, pursue understanding and wisdom, and use the discernment and good judgment He has given us. God communicates with us constantly in myriad ways. The Magi remind us be to the open to the unlikely, and when needed, be courageous in our journey of faith.
I wish you and your loved ones Christmas blessings of good health and great joy, and profound peace in the New Year,
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