Sunday, January 2, 2022


The kings of Tarshish and the seacoasts shall bring him tribute, the kings of Sheba and Saba offer gifts. All kings bow before him, all nations serve him. For he rescues the poor when they cry out, the oppressed who have no one to help. He has pity on the needy and the poor and saves the lives of the poor. Psalm 72

"We have seen his star and have come with gifts to adore him." Magi, wise visitors from the East, come to pay their homage to the Infant Jesus this morning. And in this ancient mosaic they are of three different ages, and they advance with great intention, holding with arms extended their fantastically-shaped gifts. These Magi represent all that is opulent, foreign, extraordinary, even esoteric and exotic. They wear Phrygian caps, colorful leggings, gold and jewel-encrusted tunics and capes. They are all the nations and ages of humanity with their wisdom and accomplishments, acknowledging the preeminence of Christ Jesus, he who is all Beauty, all Wisdom, all Truth. 

Come let us bow down and adore him. Let us bring him our gifts, our talents, all that we have, all that we are. Let us march ahead as the kings in our mosaic, leaning forward, always toward him, who is our only Hope, our Desire, our End and our Beginning. Even as we remember that he the Lord Jesus is our first and best gift, given to us by Mary, flesh of our flesh, bone of our bones.

What good fortune...See, Jesus is offered to you: run to him open-handed, throw out your arms and enfold him in your embrace. Prove your devotion in love and deed: take him to yourself without a qualm, this Son who is given to you; embrace him lovingly and linger with him always pressed to your heart.

The Three Kings, mosaic, Byzantine School, 6th century, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy. Lines from the Second Sermon for Christmas of Blessed Guerric of Igny.