MORE JOY IN GIVING THAN RECEIVING

Hungry for the truth, studious and intelligent,  attentive contemplatives of nature and the stars, willing to sacrifice to the extreme,  with eyes lifted up to heaven-- these exemplify the  virtuous disposition of the Magi, the Kings, the Wise men.  They were rewarded with the greatest of gifts, much more valuable than the gifts that they offered, JESUS THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!

The spiritual and moral lessons of the Wise men are abundant. May their example encourage us to pursue the truth,  to sacrifice ourselves  generously to attain the truth,  and finally, like them, may we always have the eyes of our heart lifted up to the higher realms of heaven, which is truly our eternal home!  TEACHINGS OF THE MAGI( KINGS/WISE MEN) related to JESUS THE KING OF KINGS....

1. CONTEMPLATE THE BEAUTY OF NATURE.   These men were natural contemplatives, appreciated nature as God's gift of creation. For them nature was a window through which they could contemplate the author of nature, God the Creator.  May we utilize nature as a ladder to arrive at the Creator.

2. STARS. The stars pointed to God.   Through lives shining with holiness, may we reflect God and point to God.  Balthasar says  that in the firmament of heaven there are many stars, but some are brighter than others-- some of the "Super-saints, like Joseph, John the Evangelist, Teresa of Avila.   You are called to be a shining star on earth, so that you will be eternally fixed in the  firmament of heaven!

3. TRUTH-SEEKERS.   The Magi were searching for the "Truth".  They would not stop until they found it.  The "Truth" is a Person: Jesus the Christ!  He is the pearl of infinite price; He is the treasure in the field; He is the shining diamond. You have found Him, discovered His beauty. As St. John of the Cross states: "Jesus is a gold mind; the deeper we dig, the more abundant are the pockets of gold.  Dig deep into your hearts to find Jesus in daily meditation on His word!

4. SACRIFICE: COUNT THE COST!    Athletes have a saying:  "No pain, no gain!"  The Kings, in ardent pursuit of the truth, were willing to sacrifice by travelling long miles, on uncomfortable animals, through inclement weather, to encounter the Lord.  No sacrifice is to great  that ends in meeting Jesus face to face!

5. OBSTACLES  ON THE PATH.   Herod, proved to be a dangerous obstacle; so much so that he would furiously massacre the "Holy Innocents". Still,  Herod did not deter the Kings in their pursuit of the "Light of the world."  May the trials of life not discourage us but foster greater trust in Jesus, even though His plans are at times inscrutable and mysterious!   "JESUS I TRUST IN YOU!"

6. MOVING STAR.   The symbolism of the star is various!   Holy inspirations in the mind, consolations in the heart, holy examples of holy people, the past lives of the saints, the inspiring teaching of the Popes--- all of these can indeed be stars to enlighten my path to the TRUE AND BEST STAR-- JESUS THE LORD!   Be aware of the small-daily stars that point  to the "Star par-excellence".

7. PILGRIMMAGE OF LIFE.   The kings undertook a long pilgrimmage.  This means that they set out on a holy journey, with a holy purpose to meet a holy person, the Newborn King Jesus the Lord.  We are pilgrim-people journeying to our true homeland heaven.  Keep your eyes elevated to the Lord Jesus who is seated at the right hand of the Father on high.  Two prisoners in the same cell gazed!  One looked down and saw the mud and worms; the other looked up and contemplated the starry sky. Which of the two are you???

8. ARRIVAL AND ENCOUNTER.    This bumper-sticker  is short and to the point:  "True wise men still find Jesus in the arms of Mary."  Mary always leads us to Jesus.  St. Louis de Montfort asserted with conviction:   "The shortest, easiest, and most secure path to Jesus is through Mary."
Indeed,  Mary is the shortcut to the Heart of Jesus!  If Jesus came in to the world through Mary, we should go to Jesus through Mary.

9.  PROSTRATION.   Posture of great humility, penance, and adoration--- three important virtues to attain to holiness!  Humility: all the good we can do comes from God!  Penance: conversion of heart on a daily basis. Adoration: Principle and Foundation, we are called to  PRAISE    the Lord!  Let us follow and imitate the Magi!

10. GENEROSITY IN GIVING: "GIVE UNTIL IT HURTS!  (Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta).  The three gifts are extremely symbolic and practical at the same time!
a) Gold= Jesus is King!  We are called to give alms. The spiritual transcends the material!
b) Frankincense=Jesus is God!   Called to a deep offering of the incense of prayer; we are called to radiate the sweet fragrance of Christ through an ever-deepening prayer life!
c)Myrrh= The Humanity of Jesus destined to suffer and die for us!  Called to a life of sacrifice, of a daily dying to self so as to live the fullness of the Resurrection!   Good Friday leads to Easter Sunday!

In conclusion, may we follow the true lights that lead us to the ETERNAL LIGHT,  JESUS, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!  One day, we will be one of those stars shining brightly in the firmament of heaven. May Our Lady the "Morning Star", the   ("Stella Maris"-- Star of the Sea, direct our eyes always to the True and authentic Light!