This weekend, in most Christian faiths, we celebrated the story and gifts of the Magi, we celebrated Epiphany. And each of us is invited to see how this story takes “root” in our own lives.
Now, yes, most of us have seen and/or heard the “poke” that if the Magi had been women, the women would have stopped and asked directions, made a casserole and brought practical gifts that Mary (as a mother of a newborn) could have used.
Well, I’d like to share the story of an experience I had yesterday (Sunday, Jan. 8th).
You see, I believe that each story in our Scriptures not only holds a timeless message, but also invite us to turn the story upside down and look at it through new eyes and through our own daily living. If we don’t apply the heart of the message to our lives, what good are the messages?
Pope Francis likened the story of the Magi to our own search for God.
Yesterday, I found the Magi, I experienced the journey, of getting lost in the search and then, I found God….
On our way back from Berakah this weekend, Sr. Steph and I made arrangements to connect with a woman by the name of Erin Aguayo, who lives with her husband, Jose, and their two children in Montpelier, VT. area. Why this woman? Why get lost (yes, I did briefly) to meet up with this woman whom we’d never met. It is because she and her organization make “DAY KITS FOR GIRLS”. Women in our country volunteer and make reusable menstrual pad kits for girls and women. As Erin and these women say, it is their opportunity to “bear gifts” while providing dignity to young ladies and women whose lives are seriously hampered by the lack of access or money to have the necessary supplies each month.
This means most can’t go to school during these days or go out in public. It is one more way of ostracizing poor and marginalized women who deal with this phsyical reality monthly.
As the scene unfolded in a frigid parking lot where “she finally found us because we were truly lost and confused”, it struck me that she was God’s image of a magi bearing gifts on this special day. She represented all the women ( and men, too) who seek and search for ways to make a difference in the lives of other women and children in poor countries. Perhaps I was experiencing a modern day “Epiphany”…i.e., a manifestation of God’s presence.
The “selfless acts of love of the Magi” are likened to these women’s gifts of time and talent, sharing their treasures with other women, who also search for God’s presence as well. They sew each reusable pad by personally, and provide all the necessary items in each kit.
The “wisdom” of the Magi is likened to the wisdom of these women in Montpelier, VT and elsewhere, who step forth and journey with other women and girls in our world today because as women, they understand the challenges that young ladies and women struggle with.
The “search for truth and the search for God” of the Magi can be likened to the search in our lives for God and for ways of living out our call to share this belief through our actions of hope, love and compassion, through sowing or perhaps it is “sewing” the seeds of kindness, through having the courage to “follow the star” which beckons us to live our lives in light, rather than darkness.
Yes, I do believe Sr. Steph and I experienced the gifts of the Magi yesterday as we stood in frigid temperatures, transferring huge containers of these Day kits to our vehicle. What an incredible way to celebrate the Epiphany, to be a part of the journey, to be witness to the faith and kindness of others as they walk their own Magi journey!
May the messages of Epiphany be opened in your lives, in my life, daily- as we take the gifts we’re given and use them to bear witness to the God of light and HOPE, to a Divinity enthralled with the least among us and to all those who will receive HOPE, kindness and compassion because of the journey of others!
Blessed Epiphany to each of you- seek the “Magi” moment in your lives this week….live and be HOPE!