“…and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage.” (Matthew 2:11)
Yesterday I was meditating on all the wonders that Mary and Joseph saw on the day and in the weeks following the birth of Christ. The shepherds came that very night, and now these strangers from the East come and prostrate themselves before their Son. These magi went in search of a king to the point of putting their own lives at risk when they start asking questions in Jerusalem about where the newborn king of the Jews was. Their lives were at risk because Herod, who was tyrannical as a king, could have killed them the same way he slaughtered the Holy Innocents. Herod saw this Child as a threat while the magi saw him as a blessing they had to see. Through the grace of God the Magi complete their journey when the star leads them to Bethlehem. They prostrate themselves, and in the Spanish translation of this passage, the gospel says they “adore” the Lord.
This verse jumped out at me when I was preparing my homily. Here we are on the third day of a New Year making up all sorts of resolutions when there is golden one spelled out for us in today’s gospel. Like the magi, we are called to seek out the Lord and adore him. I have always said that one of the greatest treasure that we have in this parish is our Perpetual Adoration Chapel where Jesus is waiting for you, longing for you, thirsting for you. That chapel is like the manger in Bethlehem where Christ, as an old song says, forever a child, waits for you so that you may adore him like the magi. So how’s that for a New Year’s resolution? Why don’t we spend more time in that chapel this New Year? In prayer, in adoration, or we could simply just sit there. I say this because some of us may not know what to do or what to say in there when it is perfectly fine to just sit there in his divine presence. St. John Vianney was once asked what he does in front of the Blessed Sacrament: “Nothing. I just look at Him and He looks at me.” That’s all we need to do. The fruits that you will receive are endless, and the fruits this parish will receive will be beyond anything we could possibly imagine.
So Christ is waiting for you. Sure the gym is a great resolution, a diet is reasonable, but oh how I wish that my chapel be as full tomorrow morning as every gym in Miami. The change that we need in this New Year, and the peace that we long for are all in that tiny chapel. I know I didn’t write a homily on Christmas or New Year’s Day, but the fine points that I touched upon in those homilies dovetail into what I just preached. On Christmas, I invited the faithful to approach the manger and in silence simply: adore, pray, and listen. And on New Year’s Day I tweeted four simple mini-resolutions for 2016: 1) be joyful, 2) be merciful, 3) be prayerful, and 4) be holy. Very simple goals that the Herod’s of the world want to destroy. Yet we are called to be joyful, merciful, prayerful, and holy. All attainable goals, if we simply go and adore him.