Diverse Invitations

What a moving homily we received tonight at Mass. The message centered on two contrasting ways in which God reaches out to us as He did with the shepherds that visited the infant Jesus versus the appearance of the magi. We were reminded that on the one hand an angel guided the lowly shepherds. They were told precisely what to look for and how to reach the King of Kings born that night. Their path to Jesus was clear. Luke 2: 8-18 states:

“Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.”

That act is one that epitomizes how lovingly The Father engages the ordinary as well as the exalted.

In opposition to that method of communication from God to mankind, the magi, who occupied a more revered status than the shepherds, receive an indirect summon. An unusually bright star arose in the sky and captured their attention as written in Matthew: “When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” Matthew 2:1-2

Matthew 2:9-12 reads:

“After their (the magi’s) audience with the king (Herod) they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.”

Verses 1 and 2 of Matthew’s account indicates the magi arrived in Jerusalem when Jesus was newborn but later in verses 9-12 that description changes to that of a child. That would lead me to believe that it may have taken them a while to locate Jesus. That He had grown before they reached the “house” where Jesus was living, rather than having arrived while he was “lying in a manger,” as St. Luke described in his report of Jesus’ birth.

Tonight’s homily pointed out how we don’t seek God first but it is God that seeks us and never gives up; when I reflect on that statement it is true.

Without need of sending angels or of having one word spoken to us about God we need only look in the mirror or around this beautiful earth we inhabit to see that He is revealing Himself to us all the time. Beckoning us to know Him through His trees, flowers, mountains, streams, rivers, oceans, babies, a child’s face, virtually everything the eye can behold, is evidence of a loving awesome true genius imbued with intelligence that we cannot begin to fathom. God who created the magnificence of “us” created this magnificent place for us to exist in until this short-lived existence known as life ceases. If God cannot be found neither within the deep recesses of our hearts nor in even one of these things He has placed everywhere before us, the beholder is blind in ways that have nothing to do with sight.

Some of us are given a direct route back to God while others travel a circuitous path. How we arrive is unimportant, it’s in the return that is paramount to our eternity.

 

 

“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.”     Luke 2:19-20

 

{Thank you for spending some time with me. May God Bless you always.}

11 thoughts on “Diverse Invitations

  1. If you watch for God’s hand, He is there with His angels, guiding us. Through the prayers of my mother to St Therese, God granted me a house. It’s not what I wanted but it has a large satilitte dish with the receiver and I found I could get EWTN. I know now why St Therese led me to the house I am living in now and for 17 yrs.

    • I definitely agree with you that God guides those who are receptive to His offerings. When we open ourselves to His love miracles abound. Thank you for sharing your experience. I appreciate hearing from you and thank you for visiting and reading on this website.

  2. Through the prayers of an acquaintence to St Jude and his to God I was used as an instrument to bring together she and her husband of many years. It couldn’t have been anything else – the marriage was from heaven.
    I met a young man while singing with a band and we dated for about a year. In the course of that relationship, he asked if I could find a date for a friend, Italian, not too tall and 34 yrs old.
    I had been asked by some girls, recently met, to come to a meeting of the CYO, trying to get it started again. The acting president was a woman of 30, Italian. I immediately thought of her when asked to get the friend a date. I had to call the girls I had recently met to get her name and phone number. We had lunch and she said “I don’t know any of you, but who cares”. They were married for many years, until their death.
    Years later I realized I was used as an instrument by God. I was dumbfounded. I never went to another CYO meeting, nor saw any of the people involved again!
    If we watch, we will know God’s hand.

    • The mystery of God’s ways are far beyond our understanding but as in this case, it’s amazing to me how we are sometimes privy to His work. Obviously you were willing to assist His work between the two people that He chose to bless one another. Thank you for sharing your experience and for visiting this website. Have a very Blessed Christmas, 2012, and may God Bless you always.

  3. I prayed to St Padre Pio for his help in a dangerous situation my daughter was involved. I was really worried. The prayers were at night before bedtime. I went to bed and knew I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep.
    I started to smell a very sweet fragerance, not familiar to me. The most beautiful relaxed feeling came over me and I immediately went to sleep and slept well all night. I arose the next morning still feeling somewhat relaxed. I went to mass and smelled the fragerance again. I thought it must be a perfume on someone near me.
    Our son had gone out to be with my daughter and took our Dobe for protection. We had to call that night to find out the circumstances of the day. They were having a ball being together for they were both wits. The day had been calm as it hadn[t for months!
    I was at mass the next morning and the odor again came – but no one was near me! We again called my daughter that night and everything has been solved with no incident.
    God does intervene in our lives regularly, but we must watch to recognize His being there. I have been blessed to recognize the most obvious but I know He is there constantly – as long as we have faith and ask for His intervention.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting on this post. I agree that faith is the key to our progress here; only it can lead us to the path God would have us travel for our good. May God Bless you and your family always, may you have a Blessed Christmas, and Blessing throughout 2012.

  4. I find it hard to believe that so many people fail to see God in the design of the universe about us. I have never taken the world and all creation for granted, but so many souls seem unable to see the divine in creation. I should and I will pray for unbelievers, that they will blissfully realise that their hearts belong to God

    • Happy New Year. It is great to hear from you. I agree that the number of unbelievers are surprising (and offensive) and it will take the prayers of many to correct their thinking. May God Bless you and yours throughout 2012.

  5. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one today..

    • Thank you for your kind and generous critique. Catholic Daily gives its writers the freedom to select themes of their choice. I heavily depend on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and draw from personal experience or witness. May God richly Bless you throughout 2012.

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