I love new. New Year. New Season. New Understanding, and New Life! It just gets me feeling so hopeful about the future and what the Lord has in store for each of us.
During my prayer time this week I read the gospel message about the Visit of the Magi. I’ve read this before and while I knew the story well, there was something different when I read it this time. I was deeply moved by the experience the three Wise Men had.
“… they set out and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.” Matthew 2: 9-10
Overwhelmed with Joy!
Really? What kind of joy? Heart-moving joy? Awe-inspiring joy? This can’t be!
Aren’t these visitors from the East just grumpy, old, studious scholars who were intellectually intrigued by a rising star? What do you mean overwhelmed with joy?
It was then I started to laugh at myself almost to the point of losing control … if you know what I mean! I realized for years I read this gospel story with my own bias about who these wise men were. I encountered a New Understanding of the wise men and it beautifully shifted the story for me.
As I prayed through why this story hit me so differently I realized that I, too, experienced something similar to this. Last October my son, and his wife announced they were expecting their very first child! Our very first grandchild! I remember when Nicolas and Maria shared the news about the baby – I couldn’t help but cry with tears of deep gratitude and love for my son and his wife. I was so overwhelmed with joy that Maria began to laugh, loving the reaction her mother-in-law was having.
Responding to Joy!
I continued my prayer time and read the gospel story again.
“On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11
The wise men were so overwhelmed with joy that they offered to Jesus the precious gifts they carried in treasure chests. They willingly opened and gave these gifts to God without hesitation.
As we enter the New Year I encourage you to re-read this gospel story. I pray the Lord will reveal to you a new understanding of how He has CALLED you in this life journey. I pray you will be EMPOWERED with overwhelming joy that will make you laugh silly. And I pray the gifts you carry in the treasure chest of your heart will be OPENED and given to Him, the One Who loves you without hesitation!
Blessings to you this New Year,
Monique van Berkel
Catholic Woman CEO
Called | Empowered | Opened