Dear Clergy and Laity across America,
Scripture scholars tell us the Magi came from far away. They were filled with a desire to find someone for whom their restless hearts and minds yearned. “…the Magi came to Bethlehem, going into the house they saw the Child with Mary His Mother, and they fell down and worshipped Him” (Mt 2:11). They encountered Jesus. They were probably surprised because, instead of a palace, they encountered Jesus, the new-born King, in a poor house, maybe even the cave, enthroned in the arms of a young girl and not surrounded by regal attendants.
Encounter with Jesus: isn’t this the meaning of Christmas? Isn’t this the meaning and reason of our life’s journey? To encounter Jesus more and more, to know Him better, to love Him more, to imitate His example, and to fulfill His will.
Like the Magi we are always seeking Jesus. We find Him in the Church and within each other. God manifests Himself through the Mysteries of the Church – we especially encounter Him in the Eucharist and we become what we eat – the Body of Christ. We fall down like the Magi and worship Him. We become one with Him in adoration, peace, and love.
I offer my prayer for you:
- With faith, the Magi set out on their journey to seek Jesus. May all in the Church be guided by faith on their journey through life.
- With courage, the Magi followed the star that pointed out Jesus. May those who labor for peace, justice, and an end to war and terrorism not lose courage in their efforts.
- With patience, the Magi endured challenges and discomforts on their journey to Jesus. May the sick, the suffering, the grieving and lonely, the poor and the elderly, the marginalized, the addicted, and those out of work be patient and filled with hope in their trials.
- With longing, the Magi left all to encounter Jesus. May priests and religious and those being called to these vocations be generous in leaving all to serve Him in His Church.
- With hope, the Magi sought for Jesus. May families find Jesus in one another by their mutual love, understanding, and respect.
- With awe, the Magi adored Jesus. May we find and worship Him in the manifestations of God in the flesh.
- With humility, the Magi were blessed by Jesus. May He bless us this Christmas and Theophany with an answer to the needs and intentions we bring before Him.
Like the Magi may each and every one of us encounter Jesus as we celebrate His birth each day of our life. I offer my love, prayers, good wishes, and blessings, and my greetings for a blessed and healthy New Year 2019.
Sincerely yours in Christ God,
Eparchial Bishop of Newton
Apostolic Administrator of Melkites in Mexico