THE JOURNEY OF THREE KINGS

THE JOURNEY OF THREE KINGS

            Br. Peter Damain reflects on the Journey of the Three Kings:

           "The story of The Three Kings or Magi is narrated only in the Gospel of Matthew. The more I read the story, the more I fall in love with the Magi and their journey. Their journey is to seek the Infant Child Jesus and worship Him.

            As the Magi observed the rising of the star in the east, they believed this star must signify the Newborn King, the Messiah. They set out and followed the star and Christ’s star became guidance for their journey.  But the journey of the Magi toward Christ is not without challenges: they have to leave everything behind, getting out of the routine of normal life, demanding that they give up what is not essential in order to discover who Christ is.

            The star is not always visible. The Magi lost their way and ended up at the palace of King Herod in Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to do Him homage.” (Mt 2:1-2). King Herod summoned all the chief priests and scribes and inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. The chief priests and scribes searched the Scripture and they found that the Ruler would be born in Bethlehem of Judea. When everything seems to be in the dark, the scripture will give the shedding of light. The scripture becomes the second star guiding their journey toward Jesus Christ.

            Yet, the star and the scripture, though they are important, are the means, not the end. You may ask, “What business did these three Kings have to do with the Child Jesus?” They did not travel a thousand miles to request Jesus, the Creator of light, to keep His star shining its light all the nights of their lives. Nor did they come to discuss with Jesus, the Prince of Peace, how to establish peace for their own country. Nor did they come to trade with Jesus, the King, if they could bring more gold for his kingship, or more frankincense for his life’s ministry, or more myrrh for his future burial.  Perhaps, instead of requesting the shining star, Jesus could give them the light of knowledge to guide their lives. Instead of establishing peace for their own country, Jesus could give them peace in their hearts. Instead of trading business, Jesus could give them the mission for their people.

            But all that is not their purpose. The goal of their journey is to seek Christ and adore Him. By seeing the star again with a great joy, they entered the house and saw the Child with his mother Mary. They did not hesitate to prostrate before the Child Jesus and worship Him. If in the east, they experienced how God manifested himself to them through the star, now they experience how the Child Jesus is so close to them. If the Magi had seen the splendor light of the star in the east, there is something greater than the star here. They encounter the Infant Child whom they believe to be the King, the Messiah. The earthly kings kneel down and worship the heavenly King. The light of the star kindles the light of their faith for their journey seeking the Truth. Sincere worshipers discover who they are before Christ. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts which symbolize Christ’s identity and mission.

            After worshipping and offering Him gifts, they returned to their country by another way, not to Herod.  Perhaps they have received a new life and retained a long memory of the Child Jesus, looking forward to His Kingdom to come.

           May the light of Christ be our guide and lead us to Him to worship Him."

 

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Prayer

Cistercian monastic life gives primary place of chanting the Opus Dei or Divine Office in community as well as personal time spent in sacred reading which fulfill the monk's sacred duty of seeking God.

Hospitality

Cistercian monastic life allows rooms for guests because all guests are to be received as Christ.  We never know if we have entertained angels.

Life in Common

Cistercian monastic life is communal:  We share all things in common as did the early Christian community so as to live in greater charity and union with Christ.