The Magi, St. Teresa of Avila and…….. you and me!

January 6, 2013 as I was driving to mass listening to the radio, I heard Pope Emeritus Benedict’s homily….SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD. His homily deeply touched me and is one I hope to never forget. It is very beautiful as he talks of The Magi and their life’s quest, here is an excerpt (emphasis mine):
the magi

“These men who set out towards the unknown were, in any event, men with a restless heart. Men driven by a restless quest for God and the salvation of the world. They were filled with expectation, not satisfied with their secure income and their respectable place in society. They were looking for something greater. They were no doubt learned men, quite knowledgeable about the heavens and probably possessed of a fine philosophical formation. But they desired more than simply knowledge about things. They wanted above all else to know what is essential. They wanted to know how we succeed in being human. And therefore they wanted to know if God exists, and where and how he exists. Whether he is concerned about us and how we can encounter him. Nor did they want just to know. They wanted to understand the truth about ourselves and about God and the world. Their outward pilgrimage was an expression of their inward journey, the inner pilgrimage of their hearts. They were men who sought God and were ultimately on the way towards him. They were seekers after God.

……. the Wise Men from the East. These were also, and above all, men of courage, the courage and humility born of faith. Courage was needed to grasp the meaning of the star as a sign to set out, to go forth – towards the unknown, the uncertain, on paths filled with hidden dangers. We can imagine that their decision was met with derision: the scorn of those realists who could only mock the reveries of such men. Anyone who took off on the basis of such uncertain promises, risking everything, could only appear ridiculous. But for these men, inwardly seized by God, the way which he pointed out was more important than what other people thought. For them, seeking the truth meant more than the taunts of the world, so apparently clever.”

These men had an intense purpose, an intense quest as they made their way to Bethlehem to bear gifts to the newborn King, the son of God….. Jesus Christ. Whether you believe in Jesus Christ is the son of God…or not, I’m sure you would find these men riveting as well as their life story. Centuries later after the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, St. Teresa of Avila wrote the following and I think it is good for us to ask ourselves…”how would the Magi of today live their life?”

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

— St. Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)

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