As a kid, this was the fun time. No school, new toys and hanging out with neighborhood friends. Our boredom during these times led to fun little adventures, and at times led to mischievous things, the list is long, but included Christmas lightbulb stealing (doh!), window tapping, roof hopping, the usual ding-dong ditch, orange/grapefruit fights, and BB-gun wars. I didn’t grow up in a particularly religious home yet we all knew why we were able to do these things with our time off from school…it was the time many moons ago that Jesus Christ was born.
As an adult Christmas time seems to fade beginning December 26 unfortunately. Now I often think right about 2,000 years just what were The Magi doing at this time, what were they thinking and what they were enduring. They believed the king of kings was born or about to be born. But where….when? A spectacular journey indeed. These were fascinating men.
A beautiful homily by Pope Emeritus Benedict from nearly 2 years ago. I was driving and happened to catch part of it on the radio at the time, had to look it up to read/hear it all. He really has a gift with words and paints a beautiful picture with them.
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.
…………….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.