The Magi are symbolic of wisdom. These would be the wise men of the time; who guided people in how to live their lives.
Matthew, our gospel writer, is giving us a great lesson in where Truth and Wisdom really come from. And of course the question becomes for us…From who and where do we get our wisdom? How are our lives guided?
Now we may say, “God”, but I am here today to challenge all of us in this, and that includes myself. I don’t think we are always aware of how we are influenced by others and other stuff. To understand this better, and to understand the wisdom in today’s gospel, I to go back once again to Genesis and the beginning.
The world was created in harmony. That harmony is maintained in our lives as long as we maintain our right relationship with God, with each other and all of creation. In Genesis, we have that famous serpent. The serpent, contrary to belief, is not associated with Satan or the devil, but is a symbol for wisdom, a worldly wisdom. It was this wisdom that took the truth of God and twisted it; Adam and Eve took a worldly wisdom that on the surface seemed attractive and easy. BUT, nonetheless in the long run, was wrong. They made a bad choice that broke their harmony with all; from it came into their lives and all, sin, death and chaos.
That original sin is repeated every time I make the same bad choices. When I am not truly wise.
Jesus is Wisdom of God revealed. It is the divine wisdom of truth. It is the wisdom that speaks of a willing giving of self. A wisdom that speaks of looking to others, and believing in others; a wisdom of Love. It is a wisdom that brings harmony, salvation and true freedom.
This is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All that he did, he did was based on this wisdom. He willingly gave of himself, and was born as a weak child. He willingly gave of himself and died on the cross for us. He lived his life for others; healing, teaching and forgiving. He trusted in the Father’s love for him, even in the most darkest of moments in his life. He was in harmony with the Father, with all of creation; he has invited us to be in harmony with him, with the Father, and Holy Spirit, and all of creation.
This wisdom is made present and real in the Eucharist.
We celebrate the wisdom of God revealed to us; the children of God. We celebrate that we are invited to participate in this wisdom, so that we can be in harmony, so that we can be saved, so that we can be truly Free.
Now, there is wisdom in the world, and all of it is not necessarily bad. The magi were not evil men. So we must be careful to not think that all is evil and bad, and we have to be in conflict with every other thing in the world. We all participate in these various wisdoms; that is why some of us are republicans, democrats, liberals, conservatives; free spirit, patriotism, etc. As catholics, we need to make sure that all other “wisdom” that we have, bows and does homage to Divine wisdom. It needs to needs to conform to divine wisdom. We in our lives need to WANT to conform. So we always need to be conscious and ask ourselves questions about actions/belief? Do our beliefs speak of Love, of giving of self, of harmony?
Do they truly, truly reflect Jesus Christ?
The challenge is not to conform our Christian wisdom to worldly wisdom.
Recently, there has been in the news talk of Pope Francis critiquing capitalism. Some rich and conservative American Catholics are taking a little offense. Francis does not condemn capitalism, but he points out that it is failing to live up to Christian standards. The poor are being left out. The wisdom of Capitalism is not bowing to Christ.
Making money not bad, but bad when it only becomes about the money. In our American culture, individuality is not bad, but when too much focus is placed on individual liberty, we tend to lose sight of big picture. Thus we have the “demand” for abortion and contraception. We gave the right to legal drugs and brothels. And even doing good for others great, but when person loses sight of ethics/morality, bad. I have seen persons and read of persons so enraptured by social justice, that they are filled with anger and hate towards others…something has gone amiss here.
Everything we hear and we put energy into needs to run through this filter of divine wisdom. What we hear from Rush, Keith, Glenn or Piers needs to filtered. And, from what I have heard, some of it (and I am being kind) is NOT in harmony with our Catholic faith.
God created all to be in harmony; God has given us the way to be in harmony. That way is the Way of Christ. It is the way of wanting to give of ourselves for others. It is the way of giving forgiveness, mercy and compassion. It is the way of making sure others are cared for.
It is the way of the Cross and Resurrection.
If we want this Freedom, if we want to experience this salvation; then our only choice is that which God has given to us. Do we want it? Are we truly living it?