This weekend we continue our celebration of the Christmas season with the arrival of the magi. If you didn’t notice, they have been traveling along the north widows of the church since Christmas Day. Be sure to stop by the manger scene by the cry room to take in the scene now that all the characters are present.
Although the lyrics of the hymn most often associated with today lead us to believe that there were three kings, the Gospel simply says that magi traveled from the east and adored the baby and offered him their gifts. Kings or not, they were the first to respond to the message of Epiphany. They knew to look for the star, because it would lead them to a newborn king of the Jews.
As Christians, our faith journey shares much in common with the magi. We become aware of the light of Christ shining in our hearts. We leave (at least spiritually) the comforts of the world we knew to follow Jesus’ call. We go to Mass since we believe that it is there where we are closest to Jesus. While there we adore Him and pay him homage. We may not offer gold, frankincense, or myrrh, but we do offer Jesus our time, talent, and treasure.
Regardless of who the magi were, they show us the way to Jesus. As we begin this new year, let us open our hearts to the light of the star and courageously follow God’s call wherever it takes us, give him homage, and offer ourselves to God.
As Christ blessed the manger on Christmas, so we believe that he blesses our hearts and homes wherever we dwell. If you are blessed to live surrounded by family, then your home is considered a domestic church. I pray that your home may be blessed with the peace and love that comes from the presence of Jesus made manifest through lives lived in faith.
It is appropriate, especially near the celebration of the Epiphany to pray that God would bless your home. It is a good practice to start the new year. Although myself or one of the deacons would be happy to bless your home, anyone may ask God’s blessing upon a home. One may simply pray the prayer below. If desired, Holy Water may be sprinkled throughout the home. One may also use chalk to write the Ephiphany blessing over the doorway of the home: 20 + C + M + B + 17. The numerals consecrate the new year. The initials remind us of the legendary names of the magi—Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar—and also stand for the Latin motto Christus mansionem benedicat (“May Christ bless the house”).
Lord God of heaven and earth,
You revealed your only-begotten Son to every nation
by the guidance of a star.
Bless this house and all who inhabit it.
Fill them with the light of Christ,
That their concern for others may reflect your love.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.