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January 7, 2024 Bulletin & News

By January 4, 2024No Comments

Meeting Jesus Changes Us

At the end of today’s Gospel, we hear that the wise men “returned to their own country by a different way.”

On the surface, they took a “different way” in order to avoid Herod’s jealous wrath, which is attested to both in the Scriptures and in other writings from the time. But more deeply, it was their longing for Christ that motivated their entire journey from the East and brought them to the stable in Bethlehem. And after seeing “the child, with Mary his mother,” they were changed. Longing for Christ led them on their journey, and encountering Christ changed them, even as they returned to “their own country.”

Like those wise men in the Gospel, our brothers and sisters in the OCIA program, the Order of Christian Initiation for Adults, are being led on a journey to encounter Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church, in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. They are drawn by a mysterious yet undeniable longing that leads them to reconsider their whole way of life in light of their new relationship with Jesus.

We, too, are called to a path of continual conversion, a continual seeking for the Lord in our lives today. If our encounter with Jesus Christ in the sacraments, if our reception of him in the Holy Eucharist, does not change our lives, then we remain like Herod. We know the story, we go through the motions, but fear keeps us from really making a new beginning. We refuse to bring the gift of ourselves as an offering to Jesus, so we jealously hold on to whatever we think is more important or interesting or valuable than Him.

But if, like the wise men, we allow our longing for Jesus to lead us, then we will continually encounter Him in the Eucharist and in our neighbor. And that real encounter will change us, if we allow it.

We are about to begin the “Ordinary Time” of the Church year. But it is not “ordinary” in the sense of dull and usual. On the contrary, we return to “our own country” – but changed by our encounter with Christ. Our time, our values, our relationships are “ordered” differently because of our encounter with Him.

Husbands and wives wear a ring as a sign of their new relationship that changes everything about their “ordinary” lives. Each now lives as a part of “we”. As Christians, we bear the sign of the Cross, and our relationship with Jesus Christ changes everything about our “ordinary” lives. Drawn into communion with one another because of our encounter with Him, “Ordinary” will never be the same.

-Fr. Tom

San Pedro Comms

Author San Pedro Comms

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