by Deacon Michael Bickerstaff | January 4, 2020 1:00 pm
It is likely that each of us here actively seeks the Lord. Jesus instructs us to seek Him, saying, “Seek and you will find.” Man and woman’s search for God is a recurring story through the ages as we try to discover the meaning of our lives. While meditating on the Fifth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, I have often reflected on those times when I, too, have left Jesus behind and then sought Him again.
But, how often do you hear of God seeking you? The truth is that God first seeks us out, so that we might seek Him. He thirsts for us, so that we might thirst for Him (see CCC nos. 2560-2567).
One of the Church’s greatest theologians discovered that His pursuit of created things was a misdirected search for God. St. Augustine, speaking in the context of the Samaritan Woman at the Well, taught:
“The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; His asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.”
How do we miss this, one of the most amazing of truths, particularly when we have just recently spent all of Advent and now this Christmastide hearing about Christ’s coming to us?
St. John of the Cross tells us that when we think of God, that is not our doing at all—God has placed that thought in our minds and hearts as He passes nearby to us. Is that not exciting? It surely is!
So, that’s the starting point for us now. God has come into the world to find you… to rescue you… to save you… to lead you back home to Him. His love for you knows no bounds!
The existence of God is the greatest of truths. But a close second must be this truth that He loves you so much that He became one of us, born into a human family.
Pray the Holy Spirit to allow this truth to soak into your very core… to refresh and renew your heart.
And then, we have to get to it. Begin seeking God and His will for your life in earnest. There is no time to waste!
In our first reading on this Feast of the Epiphany, we hear, “Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you” (Isaiah 60:1). Jesus is that light and He now shines upon each of us. He has come to us.
The Gospel tells the story of the Magi from the East who traveled in search of Christ, the new-born king. But that presupposes that this heavenly King entered the world.
Again, we see this truth, the God of all creation has come to the world, and those of good will seek Him.
The Magi traveled over great distance and time to seek the new-born king. They found Him and brought great gifts for Him. And they followed Him thereafter according to right judgment, forsaking the lure and temptations of the culture and corrupt government (see Matthew 2).
The first visitors to the newborn King were the lowly shepherds of Israel and, later, the Magi from the East. Their response to the Lord’s coming was to adore Him. They represent both the Jews as God’s chosen people and the people from the rest of the nations. Even from the manger, Jesus draws people who seek Him to Himself.
The story of the Magi and the Revelation of the Christ-child in what we call the Epiphany offers us both a powerful glimpse of our King and a wonderful occasion and opportunity to begin anew our prayer life. There is much for us to meditate on here.
Each of us can compare the journey of the Magi to find and give homage to the new king to our journey to the Savior and King of the world.
Rise up, Christians, rise up in splendor for your King… obey His Holy Will, for He has been revealed to you and the world this day.
Into the deep…
The readings for Christmastide—The Solemnity of The Epiphany of the Lord (Year ABC) are: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalms 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13; Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12.
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