Of Wise Men and Fools, 2020

 

Among the obstacles faced by the Magi, perhaps the greatest was the sheer indifference of the Israelites themselves. And yet, the Magi persisted, seeking this new born King. Our essay is based on a sermon from St. Jean Marie Vianney.

Let us consider to what degree the persistence of the Wise men attained. On their arrival at Jerusalem, the star which had guided them on the journey disappeared. They imagined without doubt that they had reached the place where our Saviour was born, and so they expected that the whole of Jerusalem would be filled with joy at the birth of its Redeemer.

What astonishment was theirs to see that Jerusalem showed no signs of joy whatever and in fact, did not even know its Redeemer is born at all! The Jews are so surprised to see how the Wise men came to worship the Messiah, that the Wise men began to wonder why the event was announced to them at all. Instead of bolstering their hopes, it seemed to them that their faith was being tested.  Was it not rather calculated to deter them from their journey, and to tempt them to return home secretly, for fear that they might become the laughing stock of Jerusalem?

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His Name Shall Be Called Emmanuel

 

We pray that you all have a  very Merry and Blessed  Christmas
and the very best new Year ever!

“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel.”

His name shall be called Emmanuel, that is, “God with us.” This is truly the meaning of Christmas, the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, God with us!  For, as St. Jean-Marie Vianney, the Curé of Ars tells us, “… the second Person of the Trinity had taken a human nature, a human body, and a human soul, the same as we have. He has become one of us. He is like us in all things, with the exception of sin, says the Apostle. That is the first step of the mercy of God which we devoutly adore in the crib at Bethlehem. Sin separated man from God; between man and God there yawned a deep chasm, which man was not capable of bridging over.” (1)

And, in infinite humility, He comes not as a ruler of this world, in great pomp and pageantry but as a Child, entering our world as helplessly as we ourselves do. From St. Jean Vianney again, “Who can comprehend the greatness of the mercy of God in His abasement? Let the eagle become a worm, and at the same time preserve his eagle nature, you give him the greatest torture, because he can no longer move his wings. Give the lion, with his lion nature, the form of a snail, and he would roar with pain. What a fetter is our body for our soul! But it bears no comparison to the abasement which God laid upon Himself when He took a human body and abased Himself like unto a man.”

And why was this so?

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