Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Journey with the Wise Men

Today I’m going to St. Leo’s for a half day retreat with my friend Sherry. I’ve just finished choosing and printing the lectio reading. I chose the official Advent reading for today, Matt. 2:9-12. It’s the part about the 3 wise men following the star. I like the context—the guys following and noting when the star “came to rest over the place where the child was.” They were finally there, and “they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Maybe they were smiling (singing?) and back slapping as they went“into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.” These wise men weren’t confused at all by a baby in regular swaddling clothes in the arms of a simple country girl,“They fell down and worshiped himoffered him gifts….” And after such a long, hard journey, I bet they didn’t just hop back up on their camels after one night. I bet they hung out together for a while--Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and 3 wise men, eating together, telling stories, taking turns holding the baby. When they felt rested, they slept once more and dreameddon’t return to Herod. Joseph was a wise man too, and he had some pretty valuable dream experience, so perhaps they all discussed their dreams. Finally, the 3 men “departed to their own country.”
And what happened after they got back? Was there a lot of drama and hype about the journey? “It was astonishing! Let me tell you….” Well, there may have been some of that, but I don’t think it dominated. My guess is that because of their openness to encounters with the mystery of God’s presence in all that wisdom, joy, worship, and gift offering, space was created for more grace in their lives. Perhaps that grace simply enabled them to be kinder, gentler, less pushy persons, perhaps with more patience for those closest to them. Perhaps as we continue the journey together it can be that way for us, too.

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