Their Story, Our Story
(Epiphany: Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:2-6; Matthew 2:1-12)
The story of the Magi is one of the most familiar Gospel narratives. It never fails to charm us, but it also invites personal reflection.
As you look back, can you recall who or what was your Star of Bethlehem, leading you to Jesus? Many famous Christians have described the circumstances of their conversion. They all speak of a key experience or a meaningful encounter. Join that conversation. Ask yourself: Who, What, When, Where, How?
While in Jerusalem, the Magi lost sight of the star, and had to rely on Scripture scholars for directions. Afterward, “the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them... They were overjoyed at seeing the star.” Try to relive the experience of your own joy in finding your faith in Christ Jesus.
Our joy would be even greater if everyone around us could share it. It is hard to understand why some of the people we love have never known what it is to believe deeply. In our La Salette context, this is where we experience the greatest challenge to “make the message known.”
The Magi prostrated themselves before the child, and did him homage. In our case, this could represent initial feelings of guilt for past sins, or gratitude for blessings never noticed, or wonder: “why me?”
“Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” What treasures did you bring, what gifts did you offer?
In answering that question, consider the prayer from the offertory of the Mass: “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you.”
St. Paul writes to the Ephesians about “the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for your benefit.” We are stewards, not owners, of our gifts; they have been entrusted to us for service.
The Lord will help us discern which of our gifts will best accomplish his will. Is it possible for us to think that our La Salette charism will not be among them?
He will also grant us the desire, perhaps even the need, to serve his people through action and prayer.
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.