Devotional Thoughts for Christmas - Sunday 25th Dec 2011
Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Matthew 2: 2- 12
Dear and Respected Brethren,
In today’s reading we find the description of the arrival of the three wise men to the manger where the Savior and Redeemer of all the mankind and the entire creation has incarnated. St. Matthew tells us that they were saying all their way to the manger they were saying, especially in their way in Jerusalem, “where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him”. We must underline two words from this statement and let us attempt to meditate them. The first word is his star. This means that the three men were not only wise in the secular matters, but also wise in the spiritual matters. In Numbers 24: 17 we read, “I shall see him, but not now, I shall behold him, but not nigh, there shall come a star out of Jacob and a scepter shall rise out of Israel and shall smite the corners of Moab and destroy all the children of Seth.” In Isaiah 60: 3 we read, “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”
The three wise men from the east must be gentiles in account of the Jewish thinking. Still they had prior intimation about the incarnation of our Lord and they would have been in the great expectation of the arrival of the Savior of the entire mankind. In the Holy Bible it is not written that who had intimated the gentile Kings about the incarnation of the Son of God. But still they were so sure that the unusual star appeared in their vicinity was of the Lord. St. Matthew clearly states that they had belief about the star. The Old Testament gives us a good account of the people who had been in expectation of the arrival of the Savior from the time of Adam till the time of incarnation. We must realize that there were so many people around the world, irrespective of caste and color, who had been waiting and expecting the Savior. God Almighty has fixed a period of more than nine months for a lady to deliver a baby. God expects the mother to get prepared for the birth of the baby. A number of physical and mental changes take place in the mother during the period of expectation. Before the incarnation of our Lord the entire world was having the pregnancy of hope and expectation. The Holy Church observes the Christmas, only after observing a fasting of 25 days. It is meant that all the faithful must wait and long for the great event on 25th Dec. Changes, preparations and transformations are to be implemented during these days. Let us make sure that we were so sure of the star which guides us to the manger. We all have been gifted with a blessed star in us, which is the true Holy Spirit. He could show us the way and we are obliged to follow the directions. Let us think how far we are trustworthy to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Let us uphold true and worthy faith in the star in us. Let it show us the way with enough light on our paths. If we are not obedient to the star, we cannot find fault with Him. As the wise men enjoyed in the presence of the star, let us also enjoy in His presence in us.
The second word is worship. The wise men though they were totally ignorant about the depth and width of His love, they had a determination and concrete plan to worship Him. We too worship God and let us see how they worshipped Infant Jesus. In verse 11 of today’s reading we find how they had worshipped. They fell down and worshipped. For this reason only our forefathers have insisted us to prostrate during our prayers and worships. While we kneel down eight parts of our body(In Malayalam, such a process is known as Kumbideel or Sashtanga pranaamam) touches the earth, where we feel the feet of God. Many of us think that Kumbideel is to be practiced by the members of the Monasteries and Convents only. This is a wrong interpretation. One and all, who might worship God, has to humble himself or herself before Almighty God and must kiss His feet. Then only the prophecy of Isaiah will come true. In Isaiah 40: 3-5 we read, “The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our Lord, Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.”
As the mountain and hill referred here stands for our pride nature and the valleys stand for our earthly weaknesses, let us submit ourselves to His disposal. Let Him exalt the valleys and bring down the mountain and hill. Let Him fill His love and hope everywhere and let Him utilize us for His greater glory.
Wish a meaningful blessed and happy Christmas to one and all. Let us try to experience the greatness of Christmas, other than celebrating Christmas in various ways. Let us try to have Him in us. Let Him incarnate in our minds and hearts and rule us.
May God bless us.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril