Happy New Year!
This weekend we celebrate the Epiphany of
our Lord Jesus. The Epiphany brings before the beautiful mystery
of the Divine Faith of three Magi in our Lord Jesus. The Magi
came from the east to worship Jesus and present Him with gifts of
gold (for the King), frankincense (sign of the High Priest interceding
for His people) and myrrh (for His body after His death).
What gifts can we bring to our Lord Jesus in this this New Year?
For further meditation, here is an inspiring letter from St. Pio of
Pietrelcina on the meaning of Christmas:
“O Christians, so plentiful are the lessons that shine forth from the
grotto of Bethlehem! Oh how our hearts should be on fire with
love for the one who with such tenderness was made flesh for our
sakes! Oh how we should burn with desire to lead the whole
world to this lowly cave, refuge of the King of kings, greater than
any worldly palace, because it is the throne and dwelling place of
God! Let us ask this Divine child to clothe us with humility, because
only by means of this virtue can we taste the fullness of this
mystery of Divine tenderness. Glittering were the palaces of the
proud Hebrews. Yet, the light of the world did not appear in one
of them. Ostentatious with worldly grandeur, swimming in gold
and in delights, were the great ones of the Hebrew nation; filled
with vain knowledge and pride were the priests of the sanctuary.
In opposition to the true meaning of Divine revelation, they
awaited an officious savioir, who would come into the world with
human renown and power.
But God, always ready to confound the wisdom of the world, shatters
their plans. Contrary to the expectations of those lacking in
Divine wisdom, he appears among us in the greatest abjection,
renouncing even birth in St. Joseph’s humble home, denying himself
a modest abode among relatives and friends in a city of Palestine.
Refused lodging among men, he seeks refuge and comfort
among mere animals, choosing their habitation as the place of his
birth, allowing their breath to give warmth to his tender body. He
permits simple and rustic shepherds to be the first to pay their
respects to him, after he himself informed them, by means of his
angels, of the wonderful mystery. Oh wisdom and power of God,
we are constrained to exclaim how incomprehensible are your
judgments and unsearchable your ways! Poverty, humility, abjection,
contempt, all surround theWord made flesh.
But we, out of the darkness that envelops the incarnate Word,
understand one thing, hear one voice, perceive one sublime truth:
you have done everything out of love, you invite us to nothing
else but love, speak of nothing except love, give us naught except
proofs of love. The heavenly babe suffers and cries in the crib so
that for us suffering would be sweet, meritorious and accepted.
He deprives himself of everything, in order that we may learn
from him the renunciation of worldly goods and comforts. He is
satisfied with humble and poor adorers, to encourage us to love
poverty, and to prefer the company of the little and simple rather
than the great ones of the world. This celestial child, all
meekness and sweetness, wishes to impress in our hearts by his
example these sublime virtues, so that from a world that is torn
and devastated, an era of peace and love may spring forth. Even
from the moment of his birth he reveals to us our mission, which
is to scorn that which the world loves and seeks. Oh let us
prostrate ourselves before the manger; let us offer him all our
hearts without reserve. Let us promise to follow the precepts
which come to us from the grotto of Bethlehem, which teach us
that everything here below is vanity of vanities, nothing but
vanity. (from Padre Pio, Letters, San Giovanni Rotundo, Italy)
Through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, St. Joseph,
St. Michael, St. Paul and St. Pio, may the Christ Child grant us
His blessing and peace!
In Christ through Mary,