Sunday, January 8, 2012

On Being Guided to Thy Perfect Light

This morning at Mass, I sang "We Three Kings of Orient Are" with the rest of the parish. My hunch is,  over the course of my nearly 50 years on this planet, I have sung this song dozens, if not hundreds of time. Today for the first time I was moved, really moved by the words "Guide us to Thy perfect light."

The three kings: who were these guys anyway? Saint Matthew's account tells us only that they were "magi from the east." We don't even know for sure that there were three of them. Where exactly did they come from? Did they travel together, or meet up just outside Jerusalem?

No matter. They followed His star. They allowed themselves to be guided by Another who has a Perfect Light. Surely their journey was difficult. They trekked to Jerusalem from far away. Destination: unknown. What they encountered when they got there was unexpected: a baby born to unwed parents in a manger, one of the stinkiest of all places.

And yet, they paid Him homage as if He were a king. Because He is a king, a most unlikely King with an inauspicious beginning.

The three wise men. I never got them. They were exotic. Foreign. Out of reach. But finally, finally, this morning, after all these years, I made the connection between the rest of us and the three magi. 

We journey. We allow ourselves to be guided. We are unsure of where the Presence is leading us. The circumstances of our lives are sometimes difficult, usually ordinary and rarely glamourous.  We are beggars in search of  Beauty.

And we bow down and pay homage to our most implausible Redeemer. We offer Him our most precious gifts: our talents, our time, and the treasure of the lives He gives us.

Dear God, Keep Guiding Us To Thy Perfect Light.


1 comment:

  1. Nice reflection! I've wondered some of those same things. One thing worth noting - that we sometimes gloss over - is that they returned home *by a different route*. Once we encounter Him, our lives should take a different way. Or maybe better said, we should be changed once we encounter Him?