January 2, 2022
Matthew 2: 1-12
The account of the visit of the Magi is part of a series of other visits planned by God. God is the principal initiator of these visits. These visits are:
– Visit of the Angel Gabriel to Zachariah to announce the birth of John the Baptist, the precursor of Jesus, the Savior. (Luke 1:5-25);
– Visit of the same angel to Mary at Nazareth to announce the birth of Jesus;
– Visit of Mary to Elizabeth, her cousin, to bring help and caring to her (Lk 1: 39-56);
– Visit of the Shepherds to the manger in Bethlehem to adore the Newborn Savior who had come;
– Visit of the Magi from the Orient seeking the Newborn King of the Jews and to adore him.
Of the five visits mentioned above, three happened in an atmosphere of unadulterated joy, a kind of joy without doubt, which fills and fulfills the person concerned. These are:
– The visit of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, at Nazareth
– The visit of Mary to Elizabeth, her cousin, in the hill country;
– The visit of the Shepherds to the Newborn in Bethlehem.
The beneficiaries of this category of visit experience immense joy and an incomparable happiness. They can be called “blessed”, “set apart,” taken from among their people; they are the privileged of God. Aware of the importance of this exceptional gift, they are filled with enthusiasm in gratitude to God, source of this favor. In various forms of expression, they cry and sing with joy. Thus, various cries of exaltation and thanksgiving are heard.
– “I am the servant of the Lord” “Ecce Ancilla Domini”.
– “Magnificat of Mary”
– “Glory to God in the highest” “Gloria in excelsis Deo,” sung by the angels in the presence of the Shepherds at the manger.
The two other types of visits are marked by experiences of struggle, uncertainty… The visit of the Magi belongs to this category. They had to seek, risk and struggle to reach the goal of their trip: to “find and adore the Newborn King of the Jews”.
Very often, God acts through signs and uses these to instruct us, to help us understand the divine will, God’s plan for us. The shining star which guided the Magi is a symbol of the presence of God, “God with us”. It is a response and reward reserved for the profound faith of the Magi. Only this solid faith enabled them to set out from the East to Bethlehem.
It would be good for us to ask ourselves: What is MY star? What is OUR star as Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur? – a Congregation with a specific mission: making known the goodness of God to everyone.
As for King Herod, the news about the appearance of this star in the East became a source of confusion and great fear; he panicked (Lk 2:3). Thus, he gave in to evil; he lied to the Magi and planned the slaughter of the innocent.
This is evidence that signs – even those with the greatest meaning, those most attractive, do not have the same influence on everyone.
May the Holy Spirit, the breath of God, be our light and our guide at the start of the new year 2022. May it be happy, despite the troubling threats which shake our world. May it be a year of happiness in having discovered the God whom we seek, to make him known and loved by our people.
Matthew 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.
The Gospel of the Lord
Meet Sister Marie-Angele Kitewo, SNDdeN