From the Gospel according to Matthew
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 word of the Lord
Focus solely on worshiping Him.
The Magi and Herod both seek Jesus, but their motives differ. When we genuinely seek Jesus, everything around us becomes a tool that God uses to guide us to Him. Conversely, if our intentions are impure, like Herod’s, God won’t allow us to disrupt His plan.
My spouse is a significant avenue God uses to lead me to Him. Depending on my intentions, my spouse may either support me or inadvertently lead me away from the right path. While I might believe my marriage’s success depends on my spouse’s behavior, what truly impacts my encounter with the Lord is my own behavior. Even if our intentions aren’t ideal, God can use various aspects to draw us closer to Him if our intentions are good. The primary focus should be on worshiping and expressing gratitude to Him.
Applied to married life:
Mom: Good morning Peter. Are you up so early?
Peter: Mom, what presents did the Wise Men bring to Jesus?
Mom: Gold, incense, and myrrh.
Peter: Oh! Why didn’t they bring toys like they do for us?
Mom: These gifts symbolize who that Child was. Gold represents His kingship, incense His divinity, and myrrh His sacrifice as a Man for us. Through these gifts, they worship Him, acknowledging Him as King, God, and the perfect model of Man.
Peter: Can we worship Him too?
Mom: Absolutely, and it’s something we should do. Worship is reserved for God alone, and every action should be dedicated to Him. In everything we do, we offer Him gifts, recognizing Him as our King, our God, and the flawless model of Man we should follow.
Peter: When will you get up to see if the Kings have arrived?
Dad: We’ll get up now, but first, call your siblings. Let’s express our gratitude to Jesus for this beautiful day and family. We’ll gather at the Nativity scene to worship the Child, and then we’ll check under the tree for gifts. Sound good?
Peter: Yes! (Leaves, jumping) We want to see the Kings, we want to see the Kings, we want to see the Kings…!
Heavenly God: On this sacred Christmas, we want to thank you for your abundant love. We appreciate our family and our home. Bless us on this special day. We come together to worship the Child God and thank Him for entering our world to rescue us. May our lives glorify you. Amen.