Jesuit retreat center high on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in St. Louis, MO.  Since 1922, thousands of people from around the world make annual three-day silent, guided retreats here to relax, reconnect with God and strengthen their spirituality.  A true gem in the Midwest!  Call 314-416-6400 or 1-800-643-1003.  Email reservations@whretreat.org  7400 Christopher Rd.  St. Louis, MO 63129

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Weekend Reflections for 1/4/19

The Gift of the Magi


It should not be too hard for us to imagine how mysterious and startling the events surrounding the birth of Christ must’ve been for Mary and Joseph. They perhaps reminded them of the unusual events and happenings they experienced when Jesus was conceived. After his conception as far as we know their lives were relatively ordinary.


But all of this was to change radically when there came the edict for a census by Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus.  This required them to make a three day or so journey to Bethlehem, and for Mary a painful one in the final weeks of her pregnancy.  We all know how in Bethlehem they suffered the rigors of the birthing of Jesus in the cattle yard.


As mysterious and mystifying all of these events must have been for Mary and Joseph,  the events that followed the child’s birth were just as surprising, startling and revelatory.  Seemingly out of nowhere the local shepherds appeared.  They somehow knew of the child’s birth and they were excited, joyful and anxious to see him and be with them.  They explained how divine messengers had alerted and informed them of this marvelous occasion. 


Then while Mary and Joseph were just beginning to adjust to these herdsmen, there appear three foreigners, non-Jews  but Gentiles. They tell an almost unbelievable story about a star and how it, then Herod, and then the star again guided them and lead them to Mary and Joseph and their child.   The respect and homage and gifts these three conveyed were in themselves a confirmation that they had too  been called to be here. 


Little wonder Mary treasured all of these events and happenings in her heart and pondered long and hard over them.  Nine months earlier the Angel had told her and Joseph that their child was of God and was special.  Now in the events of his birth all of this had been dramatically reaffirmed.  May we too be blessed and confirmed in our faith in Christ by the usual and unusual events in our lives.


Jim Blumeyer, S.J.