Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him. (Mt 2:2)

There was something symbolic in the star disappearance from the heavens above the metropolis of chosen nation, and the holy city of Jerusalem remaining in darkness! The star instead appeared brightly shining to the pagan Kings and led them to the Messiah place of birth. We cannot help but think here about Jesus' prophecy: And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mt 8: 11-12). Even more parallels can be drawn between ancient Jerusalem adorned with God's glory, the Far East pagans longing for salvation and the modern lukewarm Christianity. Jerusalem waited for the Messiah and knew the time of His coming. Jerusalem had the Temple and priests who knew very well the prophecies - but Jerusalem had no time nor willingness to keep watchfullness and in the midst of their daily preoccupations they did not care to notice the moments of immense grace. Even arrival of the Wise Men could not awaken them but on the contrary: And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him (Mt 2:3). They felt but troubled and it was not enough to open their eyes, nobody even thought to join three Kings on their way to Bethlehem. That is why the star omitted the holy City; that is why the Jewish nation was later punished and lost their holy city and the Temple; and that is why we have sometimes this uneasy feeling of approaching decline of Western Christianity. All these because of want of readiness, zeal and watchfulness that weaken souls. God does not need us and our lukewarmness and tepidity, He helps us with His grace, but He does not impose unto us to live our Christian faith in response to His favours. What He does expect from us is sincere readiness and zeal of Three Wise Men. If we hear God's call to amend our lives, to abandon bad ways or habits, to sacrifice something for love of Him, then we should never ignore it! For these are special moments of freely given light! Let us accept humbly these gifts and respond promptly with zeal of Wise Men: And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy (Mt 2:10).