The New Year and the Magi

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There, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:9-11

I’m considering the New Year through the holiday lens. As I write these words, tonight will be one of the longest nights of the year, and snow swirls outside my window. This calendar year draws to a close, and I wonder what the fresh, unwritten upon pages of then next 12 months will bring.

There are a few characters from our Christmas story who help bring the New Year into perspective for me: the Magi.

It seems today’s believers are on a journey with the Magi. We come bearing gifts, setting out in haste, seeking the light. We have gifts for others, and the gifts we have been given by God in our talents and desires. Those wise men of long ago were most likely burdened in their travels by supplies, tents, necessities and luxuries for the road. But perhaps the greatest burden was understanding why they began this extraordinary search in the first place. With only their studies, and the light in the sky to guide them, they traveled in a kind of blind faith—confident that they must seek, but unsure of what their seeking will bring.

Perhaps our IVC journey mirrors that of the Magi: we travel in faith, to places unknown, following the light. We carry our burdens, our gifts, all with the hope that our efforts will prove worthwhile. At times we wonder why we even set out on this journey, but each step forward seems to make sense. So we continue.

As we begin this New Year and sometimes waver under the burdens of our busy lives, let’s remember those desert wanderers centuries ago, who left all that they knew to seek the heavenly child. May we travel on with such purity of heart.

 

Maria Rodgers O’Rourke, the IVC – former St. Louis regional director, has served in church ministry for over 20 years on the national, regional and local levels in communications, adult spirituality, family life and retreat direction.

8 Responses to “The New Year and the Magi”

  1. Emilie Gillanders

    Lovely reflection, Maria. And I know of the swirling snow you talked about as we were in St. Louis visiting our son and his family on the 28th!!

    Reply
    • Louise Sandberg

      So true, that we bring gifts and mysteriously follow the Star God has put for us, the guidance of the spirit of Ignatian discernment. The Magi are excellent examples of discernment.

      Reply
  2. Christine Curran

    Maria,

    Thank you for this beautifully written piece. It helps me remember we are still in the Christmas season, and to be attentive and open to the wonder and hope the season brings.
    Blessings, Chris

    Reply
  3. Camille

    Thanks Marie for a lovely reflection. Each week going back to the same nursing homes still affords me an opportunity for a new adventure. Every Monday my friends present themselves with different faces and stories and hopefully every Monday that I return I too am different from the blessings received the week before. Gratefully, camille

    Reply
  4. Fran

    Maria, your image of the Magi on a journey reminds me of our life journeys as pilgrims. We start out with a desire and a spiritual nudge and off we go walking. Who knows where the road will lead? It is full of surprises and can be quite dark; not sure if the path is even there! Like the Magi, we just need to follow the Christ Light.
    Thanks!
    Fran

    Reply
    • Elizabeth Clifford

      “Like the Magi, we just need to follow the Christ Light.” Thank you, Maria, Fran and all the responders for words like balm after a devastating day. “Christ, be our light – shine in our hearts, shine in our darkness…”

      Reply
  5. kathy

    I am so grateful to be part of this amazing group of seekers. Thank you ~ each of you for sharing your thoughts and insights. I feel blessed to be in your company.

    Reply
  6. Maryellen Rodgers

    Thanks Maria, for this! Since becoming part of IVC and encouraged by my spiritual reflector, I am increasing awareness of the spiritual journey we all travel. I keep the Camel from my creche out all year now. The Camel “travels” from place to place in the rooms of my house, prompting continued and joyful reflection!

    Reply

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