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Sunday, January 7, 2001

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Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6
Psalm 72
Matthew 2:1-12

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wisdom does not contradict itself

"They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house, found the Child with Mary His mother." —Matthew 2:10-11

The wise men found the infant Jesus in a house some days after Jesus had been born in a stable. Their coming may have occurred around the time of Jesus' Presentation in the Temple forty days after His birth when Simeon prophesied that Jesus was both "a revealing Light to the Gentiles" and "a Sign of contradiction" (Lk 2:32, 34, our transl). Possibly the wise men were wise because they did not contradict Jesus, a Sign of contradiction.

Because they believed the star of Bethlehem was announcing the birth of the King of the Jews, the wise men followed the star, prostrated themselves before Jesus, and "presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh" (Mt 2:11). The actions of the wise men did not contradict Jesus. However, Herod, after having said he would offer Jesus homage (Mt 2:8), contradicted himself and tried to murder Jesus (Mt 2:16).

We too contradict Jesus and ourselves when we say:

  • we believe in God, but we don't tell others about Him,
  • we receive the body and blood of Jesus in Holy Communion, but we don't center our lives on receiving Communion,
  • the Bible is the word of God, but we don't read it daily, and
  • prayer is communicating with God, but we don't set aside a daily prayer time.

There may be other contradictions in our lives. But the wise men and women are not contradictory; they are prostrate in worship of Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, make me consistent, faithful, and wise.

Promise:  "Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you...Nations shall walk by your light." —Is 60:1-3

Praise:  Praise Jesus, "manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit; seen by the angels; preached among the Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up into glory" (1 Tm 3:16).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000