December 16, 2022

Guest Column / Viola Maria Miller

Follow the gift of the Messiah Star, open your heart to our King

Viola Maria MillerChristians, when you read the Christmas story in your Bible, do you take it for granted? Or does your heart still skip a beat? When you read about the Magi in the Gospel of Matthew or about the shepherds in Luke, do you feel awe in your heart about what they saw in the sky? You should.

These very learned men (the scientists and astronomers of their time) possibly read about “the Star” and the coming Messiah in ancient Hebrew texts and possibly heard of it from some of the captives in Babylonia. It was no secret about the Hebrews waiting for a Jewish king. This might help explain why they were watching the night sky so closely for a special star.

When these practical and learned men saw the star rise out of Jacob as foretold, how their Babylonian hearts stirred, but did they know why? All they knew was that they had to follow this star; they had to get to the land of Jacob, no matter what the cost or inconvenience to their lives. They were stirred up and enflamed—but by what, they did not know.

So, Christians, are you stirred up and enflamed by the mystery of your faith? Does the star still rise out of Jacob for you? See, the star didn’t just rise up for them—it rose up for you. The Messiah’s Star rose up in the sky for you.

The Wise Men would leave all their familiar surroundings and go on a journey toward a miracle. These learned men knew it would mean hardship at times, maybe even some danger to get there. But that didn’t stop them. No matter what, they would get to the land of Jacob. And they would bring gifts.

So, brothers and sisters, as you read and meditate on the biblical story, are you on the journey to the land of Jacob with them? Are you bringing any gifts with you? Have you packed awe and wonder and anticipation in your heart?

As you approach Jacob’s land, as you approach the throne of grace in your church—or whatever holy ground your knees fall down upon—what are you bringing? If you place holiness and purity in your heart while you pray, is that not as royal as gold, frankincense and myrrh?

So, the Wise Men journeyed, questioned by the evil king, interrogated, delayed. But they kept the holy secret. The star had re-appeared to them, and they were overjoyed. They found the holy place. They followed the star in holy abandonment and faith. They fell down on their knees at the holy sight of the Messiah. They felt the grace.

Do you follow the Father’s guidance in holy abandonment and faith? Do you still fall down on your knees and feel the holy grace?

They found Jesus where the Father was leading them. They presented their gifts. They saw Jesus. They really saw Jesus. They saw a great King, who would save his people, Israel. They opened their gifts, but they had also opened more.

When you are on your knees, when you kneel before the King in prayer, do you see the Messiah? Do you really see him? Open your heart Christians—really open your hearts. Do you see his beautiful face yet? Do you feel his love, his grace?

That’s why you followed the star. Jesus, the Messiah, came to Earth for you. He gives his grace to you. He is the holiest gift. So, open your heart to our King. You are his gift.

(Viola Maria Miller is a member of St. Joseph Parish in Shelbyville.)

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