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.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king 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.
O come, let us adore Him!
The whole of the Christmas Season is about the gift of sight. Prior to the Incarnation, Israel’s understanding of God was something abstract, for God did not have human qualities. Because of this, God seemed distant.
The Incarnation changed that perspective, for God became man. The eyes of humanity were finally able to look upon God. We now have a visible form of God, a man, both human and divine, present in the manger. Therefore, this gift of sight begins.
He was seen first by Mary His mother and Joseph His foster father. They had the privilege of being the first to gaze upon the infant king. Then, the Shepherds are privileged to see Christ and rejoice in Him. Finally, on this Feast of the Epiphany, the Magi — the Three Kings — representing the whole of the nations, are able to see the Christ and come to do Him homage.
We live in a time after Christ ascended to His Father. However, we also gaze upon Our Lord, but in a different way than the Magi or the Shepherds. The truth is that we still gaze upon Christ in the Holy Eucharist. We are able to be just as present to Jesus in the Sacred Host as the shepherds and kings were to Him in the manger.
Today and throughout this New Year, let us recommit ourselves to Eucharistic Adoration so that we can fully experience the tremendous gift of the abiding presence of God.
As always, know of my prayers before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
+ Bishop Schlert