Every year during the Advent and Christmas seasons, we are invited to seek Jesus anew, just as the Wise Men of old sought and found the Infant Christ. In their journey to His manger, their lives were uplifted and changed, for they found what they sought, and they recognized the treasure of their discovery.
As we begin this new year together, seeking Christ above all things, we invite you to join us in learning and aspiring to implement these lessons from the Three Kings of the Epiphany:
Be a Seeker
The Wise Men sought the Newborn King, leaving behind their cares and routines, and setting out in haste. Each day of our lives, we have the choice to seek things within or outside of ourselves that will disconnect or connect us to God and others. Each day we choose whether or not we will advance spiritually.
Most of us spend precious time immersed in the cacophony of our daily activities and busy lives. Many of us get caught up in technology, carried away by the voices and the noises so prevalent in our culture. Scrolling through Facebook, Instagram or Tik Tok, we seek something - without even knowing what it is.
Our precious time evaporates while we are immersed in frenetic activity, some of which is unedifying. We may find something to entertain ourselves. We may see photos, images or commentary we enjoy in the moment. But in the end, we are left unchanged.
This year, seek Him. The God Whom You Know Loves You. Seek what you know can and will bring you lasting change. Resolve to spend ten minutes in prayer at the beginning of your day. Read the Bible, or holy and edifying books. Find a book or an app that leads you through daily meditations. Here at The Catholic Company we publish our own beautiful and edifying online devotional series, Good Catholic, meant to draw you closer to Christ and His Church.
Whatever you choose, choose to use some of your discretionary time growing in knowledge and hunger for Him. Resolve in the new year to seek the King of Kings in a deliberate way, and devote your time to Him. Honor Him with your time consistently, and you will be changed.
Watch for God To Do Something New
The Wise Men were astronomers from the East who gazed upon the stars regularly. These learned men knew the appearance of the heavens and the pattern of the skies. They distinguished the bright star that led them to the Newborn King.
Recognizing something different, they saw something entirely new. In most cases, if we are not watching for something, we will not see it. Anticipate that God will do something new in your life this year. Wait expectantly, not buried in your daily cares and circumstances.
Remember that he can enter into any circumstance, at any time, in any way, to bring change. You serve a big God who longs to pour out upon you the fullness and abundance of His grace. Ask Him to do it, and to help you watch for it. This is a prayer He will answer if you are sincere and your heart is open.
Then, wait upon the Lord in faith and hope, and you will recognize His gifts to you. They may not be the ones you asked for or expected, but He will manifest them if you are watching and waiting.
Persevere in Faith and Hope
In the days of Christ’s birth, the Wise Men could not simply rent a car and follow a GPS to a desired destination. Travel meant contending with harsh conditions, unknown obstacles, dangerous bandits, wildlife, and the natural elements.
Despite the dangers of the unknown, the Three Kings set out to follow the Star of Bethlehem. They persevered in faith and hope, believing they would find something glorious and well worth their sacrifices.
We too must persevere. We must keep moving as we contend with the dark forces in our world and the discouraging circumstances and sufferings in our own lives. We must press on in faith and hope, accompanying one another and believing that the journey we walk together will lead us to our King.
The Magi understood that their mission was greater than obeying or placating Herod. They did not let the darkness overcome them, they simply followed the Star. When Herod tried to enlist them to find the Christ Child, so that he could execute Him, the Magi did not obey his command, but went home by another route. When faced with darkness, we must keep our eyes on the Light of the World and be open to guidance by the Spirit, just like the Three Kings.
None of us walks alone. We have a Body of faithful brothers and sisters who accompany us. We have His Word. We have the Church and her Sacraments. We have prayer to unite ourselves to Him, and help us intercede for our fellow "travelers." We have Jesus, who loves us more than we can possibly imagine.
Offer Your Gifts to God Continuously
The Wise Men brought their most valuable and symbolic gifts to present to the Newborn King. The Lord has given each of us very particular personal gifts, meant for His divine purposes. By using these gifts in the world, we glorify Him, win souls for Christ, and enlarge His Kingdom.
When we understand our gifts, we can put them to deliberate use. Only then can we fulfill our divine purpose - in our own lives and His plan of salvation. This helps bring us to the center of His will, where we will find more fulfillment than our own plans could possibly provide.
This year, pray and work to understand the nature of your special giftedness before God. There are no greater or lesser gifts. They are all meant for the divine purpose of drawing many unique and unrepeatable souls to Christ. All the gifts He gives are meant to bring His love to souls.
Some people's gifts may seem more "obvious" to us than our own. Perhaps those individuals' gifts call our souls to recognize them. Our hearts are made to recognize their Creator, and when we discover and make use of the gifts He gives us, we honor Him and draw others into His profound love.
Ask yourself how your gifts can be put to use in a wounded world so in need of God's love, then resolve to present those gifts to your King.
Resolve to offer him the best of yourself, and even the worst of yourself, so that He can receive your love and honor, and work within you to perfect your soul. This year, give Him everything, continously, and invite Him to radically change you however He sees fit.
He has shown us by example that there is no greater expression of love than to give everything. Only then can we create the space necessary for Him to pour into our hearts the abundance of graces he desires to give.
Let's resolve to travel together this year, accompanying one another as the Three Kings did. There will be darkness, perils, joys, and sorrows on our shared journey. The terrain will not be easy, and the elements will challenge us. The uncertainties of our own circumstances will weary us, and at times the climb will seem insurmountable. Despite the hardships, let's press on courageously together. Like the Magi, we are making our noble pilgrimage to meet our Beloved King.
As we seek Him, watch for Him to act in our lives, persevere in faith and hope, and offer Him our gifts, let us remember that He came for each one of us, that we might have life - not this one on earth, but the one we are all meant to share with Him in heaven.
May the Light of the World guide you, as the Star led the Three Kings, and may you find Him whom we all seek.
The Catholic Company wishes you and yours a most joyous Christmas season, and God’s richest blessings in this new year and always.