traveling afar

“May the Star of Bethlehem, which shone down from above, keep shining in your heart and in the hearts of those you love.”

Helen Steiner Rice

Mary has her baby.

Born of God and Mary, he is Emmanuel, “God with us.” Immediately, God begins to reveal the Son who is destined to become king, a ruler to shepherd God’s people.

First the Shepherds, tending to their sheep, come and watch over him. Then, overjoyed, the wise men find him in Bethlehem and kneel before the baby.

Let me come and worship, too, Lord! Here is my heart.

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people. Israel.'”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the chid; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and 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 hoy. 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. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Matthew 2:1-12

Ironically, the mysterious wise men learn the infant Messiah’s location from Herod, the chief priests, and the scribes – all of whom would sooner or later seek to kill Jesus.

Like a Shepherd, God guides them by the star to the place and later by a dream guides them, so they do not return to Herod.

Lord, guide me to you, guide all those you have given me toward you, and guide all those I have been asked to pray for – always toward you.

hugs n’ blessings for those trusting in the One who shepherds His people.

*photos in this post created by talented photographer Kristyn Brown, the Saints Project.

*featured photo is my own personal copy of Kristyn Brown’s print entitled, the Solemnity of Mary.

in the silence of her heart

“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Luke 2:19

I have loved that scripture for years.

I love that, after the eager shepherds left to spread the
word that the newborn Savior was finally here, Mary was quiet; that she was still.

I especially love how even at the foot of the Cross, no doubt agonizing over the brutality that her son endured, Mary was yet again quiet; she remained still.

Continue reading “in the silence of her heart”

sacramental life

Photo courtesy of unsplash, Edgar Chapparo.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?

1 Corinthians 6:15

“Christ used the flesh and blood of Mary for his life on earth, the Word of love was uttered in her heartbeat. Christ used his own body to utter his love on earth; his perfectly real body, with bone and sinew and blood and tears; Christ uses our bodies to express his love on earth, our humanity.

Photo courtesy of usplash, Everton Vila.

A Christian life is a sacramental life, it is not a life lived only in the mind, only by the soul; through the bodies of men and women Christ toils and endures and rejoices and loves and dies; in them he is increased, set free, imprisoned, restrained.

Continue reading “sacramental life”