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.
Opening the heavens.
Today, we reflect on the profound image of the Holy Trinity: where the Son undergoes baptism by John, the heavens dramatically unfold, unveiling the Holy Spirit, accompanied by the Father’s voice bestowing blessings upon Him, affirming, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you, I am well pleased.” This serves as a poignant illustration of the Father’s love for the Son. Benedict XVI emphasized that “Christ’s alignment with the Father’s will paves the way to heaven, as heaven is the realm where God’s will is fulfilled.”
Hence, we, too, can “unlock heaven” by embracing God’s will for our marital purpose. In our spouse, we find our beloved, and during our baptism, God bestowed the Holy Spirit upon us. Let’s ponder this symbolic scene and integrate its essence into our married life.
Applied to married life:
Peter: (Praying) Lord, there are numerous instances when I struggle to comprehend the dynamics between my wife and me. Often, her thoughts and concerns elude me. She tends to hold onto grievances, overlooking my efforts and love. Unintentionally, I end up hurting her again, and sometimes, I catch myself being self-centered instead of considering her… Nevertheless, Lord, my ultimate desire is to align with Your will, even in my confusion, even if my attempts are awkward, even if my strength falls short. I want to convey this earnestly. With hopeful anticipation, I pray for Your will to unfold, even if it means tearing open the heavens. Amen.
In this valley of tears, we sigh and weep, turning to you… gaze upon us with your merciful eyes, and once our exile concludes, reveal Jesus to us… Holy Mother of God, intercede for us, that we may prove worthy of the promises made by Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.