By Anni Harry

 

 

Then, opening their treasures,
they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
~ Matthew 2:11b

Perhaps one of my favorite Christmas carols is “The Little Drummer Boy.” When sitting prayerfully with the lyrics one year, I focused on how the little drummer boy had nothing else to gift the Savior of the world. Yet, he recognized the little Babe in the manger as someone important and knew it was only fitting to share his gift – his talent – with Him.

Today’s Gospel reading and feast day sheds light on the magi, who also recognized the little Baby in His mother’s arms, carrying their most meaningful gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It invites each of us to embark on our search of our lives.

The Magi’s Example

With the magi, we see the importance of recognizing our gifts. The gifts acknowledged in their own way the unique role the Baby would play, not just in the salvation of the Jewish people awaiting their Messiah, but for all people awaiting our Savior. Each gift presented by the magi was chosen with a purpose and a nod to the One they approached.

So, too, are we encouraged to recognize our gifts to carry forth to the world and thus to the Lord.

God has loved us for eternity. As One Who loves and is Love, He freely gives each of us gifts and talents. A priest once defined humility as, “Knowing the gifts God has given you, and then using them for His glory.”

In “The Little Drummer Boy,” the gifts don’t have to be monetary or overly grand gestures. Instead, they can be simple, daily acts of love that we pass along to our family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers.

The insecurity we see in Herod still exists in the world today: pride and envy are still among the leading causes of turmoil in the world today (among other deadly sins). The devil preys upon our weaknesses and uses them to his advantage, similar to how he played on the motives of Herod.

Yet, like the star that guided the magi so many years ago, the magi have become a beaconing light for us. They show us what fidelity to God looks like, recognizing not just the gifts we are given to carry to the Lord but also what it looks like to listen to God’s voice, even if He comes to us in a dream or the quiet stillness of our hearts.

Today’s Search

In today’s world, it is very easy to slip into complacency, forgetting the importance of searching for God. It is easy to overlook how God invites us to use our gifts and talents.

However, He has made us for this moment with the intention that we grow not just as faithful disciples but also as intentional seekers of His way, His truth, and His life.

This year, let us intentionally search for and bring others to Christ through our thoughts, words, and deeds.

 

Prayer

Most loving Father, thank You for giving us the example of the magi. We ask that You grant us the courage to search for You and the wisdom to recognize how to use our gifts and talents for Your glory alone. Amen.

Call to Action

Take a firm assessment of your gifts and talents. Make a plan to put those gifts and talents to use in your parish this year by volunteering for a ministry.

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