…they bowed down and did him homage…Mathew 2:11
I left Mass with a powerful thought Sunday morning. One line from the Gospel left me thinking and thinking and thinking. It’s funny, I’ve heard that same Gospel reading many Epiphany Sunday’s but today it really smacked me hard somewhere between the eyes and the heart! The words came from Matthew’s Gospel; they bowed down and did him homage…
You might be thinking, well yeah…that’s how the story goes what’s the big deal! I guess what struck me today was the fact that the Magi were from a foreign land which meant they didn’t know Jesus or Mary or Joseph. They weren’t Jewish, they didn’t know the history and didn’t share the same beliefs or customs but yet they knew! They knew that tiny baby was worthy of adoration and homage. They knew that tiny baby was infinitely more than just an ordinary baby. They were outsiders but their hearts and their eyes saw past the regular and went straight to the amazing. They had no proof, they had no memo or document or official verification, they had faith and hope and they responded to it by bowing down in homage. They didn’t ask for verification or paperwork or baby Jesus’ social security number; they simply believed and demonstrated enormous respect and reverence.
It makes me really wiggle in my pew when the Gospel jabs me like that. I’ve been asking myself the same question over and over; “When was the last time I walked into church or sat down to pray with even a sliver of the respect, adoration and homage the Magi demonstrated? I suppose I get so comfortable I forget how amazing Jesus is. If I’m really being honest I will even go so far as to say I probably even take him for granted. Shame on me! Again and again and again, the Lord has powerfully demonstrated his love, compassion and tender care for me and my family but yet I continue to give him less than He deserves. I forget to include Him, I forget to trust Him and in my pride I even try to take credit for the things He’s done. Sometimes I seek glory and attention that completely belongs to Him. Sometimes I forget to include Him in my plans until I’ve messed it up and need Him to come to my rescue. I forget to thank Him for things like good health until someone gets sick and then I screech at Him in despair. Honestly, I don’t act very “Magi-like” sometimes.
I have more “proof” than I will ever need so after much wrestling with this line from Matthew’s Gospel, I’m going to remember to offer Jesus my humble heart bowed down in homage. For me that means making a list of the things I must remember to tell Him each morning and each night before sleep so I don’t forget or take Him for granted. I need to study that list like I’m studying for the exam of a lifetime. It means I need to open my heart and give Him the treasure He's asking for; my whole heart. It also means finding a picture of the Baby Jesus and the Magi to put in my prayer journal so I don’t forget the stirring I felt this Epiphany Sunday.
A Seed To Plant: What are three thing you can start doing to bow down in homage today? Think hard and let the bowing and homage begin!
Blessings on your day!