Gospel MT 2:1-12
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
"Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage."
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel."
Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
"Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage."
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.
+Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, Come by the means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Thy well beloved Spouse. Amen
“They prostrated themselves and did hid homage. Then they opened their treasures”…I love these words, they draw in my mind the image of the heart and our ‘posture’ when we come before God in prayer. In my particular translation the text reads: “and falling down they worshiped Him.” I love this image, that they '“fell down in worship”. What a beautiful image. That would be perhaps, the intuitive/inherent response to Greatness that is not of this world.
Let us enter this passage, watch them approach the place where the Infant King rests, with His Mother and St. Joseph. The Gospel says they were “overjoyed”, Watch how they approach Jesus, how do they walk? What do their faces look like? Watch the eagerness with which they enter the house and then how they fall down and worship. What did they behold? Who did they behold? And what was gaze of the Infant Son of God upon them? Look at the Magi, In all their finery, with all their retinue behind them, they humbly prostrate themselves before this little Infant King in the manger in silence. They bow and they bow and they remain bowed down praising the wonder of His coming! Can you smell the aroma as they enter the house where Jesus, Mary and Joseph are; can you smell the fragrance with which they enter? Carrying gifts and themselves fragrant with the rare ointments of the east. It must have been a moment where mystery and reality met. The entire image for me is little a tiny chapel. The Sanctuary Lamp is the Star announcing His Real Living Presence. The crib the altar. The fragrance they bring and are anointed with is the incense the priest blesses the altar with, and the gifts they bring, symbolize the gifts we bring in the offertory, the gifts of ourselves before God. When we come before Jesus, we bring the greatest treasure our Lord could want a humble heart open to Him.
“They opened their treasures.” When we come before Jesus, in the Blessed Sacrament or when we enter the depth of our souls, where God dwells, the posture to approach Him with can be learned from the Magi. To humbly ‘fall down’ in humility and recognize His Presence and His Beauty. To humbly bow down in worship and adoration of Him in the depth of our hearts and to pour out the contents of my hearts before Him. He is a humble King who accepts all that we offer, the ‘gold’ of our Love, the frankincense of our desires, the myrrh of our repentance, poverty and sinfulness.
“Give me your misery, its your exclusive property” (Jesus’ words to St. Faustina)
“Only open your hearts to be loved by Him as you are, He will do the rest.” (St. Mother Teresa)