Gospel Reading and Thoughts for January 5, 2014

Feast of the Epiphany

Gospel – Matthew 2:1-13

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, epiphany
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 three Magi searched for the Son of God.  They may have even traveled for months to find him.  And when they finally found Him by following the star, they gave him gifts of great expense and esteem.

We, too, search for Christ – we look for his guidance in our lives, we look for His light in others, we look for His love in our families.  We can even travel far to find Him – we sometimes go long distances through deserts of spiritual dryness only to find that He was right in front of us all along.  We were traveling by the light of His star – we just didn’t know where we were going. 

And when we find Him, He doesn’t want expensive gifts of gold and spices.  All He wants is everything – all of us, totally and completely given to Him.  That can be our gift to the Christ Child this Christmas season and every day.

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