Jesus is the light of the nations. That is why to follow him means to welcome Gentiles from all races, tongues, peoples and nations.
Ps 149, 6 asks that praise be on the lips of the faithful. And swords in their hands to take revenge on the nations.
Is it due to such hate that the chief priests and the scribes do not do as the Magi? Yes, they tell them that the ruler and shepherd of Israel will come from Bethlehem. But they do not lift a finger to find him. Why not?
Either they do not believe those from the nations. For what would they know about things that have to do with Jews?
Or these learned ones take Scriptures lightly; there are more pressing businesses, too. Have they yielded to Herod to play safe and not be on the bad side of one who is full of wrath?
Anyway, since those from Jerusalem make no effort, they do not get to see the King of the Jews. But those from nations get to see and worship him. That is how it is. Those who seek the Lord with all their heart find him (Jer 29, 13), in spite of some setbacks.
The nations enter the kingdom before Israel.
How sad that those who, more than anyone else, should welcome the Good News do not do so. But this is not new.
For there was little trust in the welcome that Zechariah gave to Gabriel in Jerusalem. But in Nazareth, Mary welcomed the same angel with more trust and humility . And the common folks, more than the priests and the Levites, heeded John the Baptist in the desert.
It seems, then, that the farther they are from the wise and from Jerusalem, the better off are those that God sends. And later, Jesus will fare better with the simple people, with those from the outskirts, than with the learned. Those from Jerusalem, yes, will plot to kill him.
And we? Are we on the side of the wise from the east, or of the wise from Jerusalem? Do we not look down on those who are from the nations, yes, at the risk of not grasping the one who is their light? And we who have been in the Church for years, do we take Jesus, his teaching and his works in earnest? In a creative way?
No, we are not to be small-minded. And we must strive to think up great and holy ways to serve God (SV.EN XII:82).
And not that vinegar is of no use, for each thing is necessary. But it bears asking, right?: Have the years turned us into sourest vinegar, or into aged wine?
Lord Jesus, your Supper is a foretaste of the feast on the holy mountain that you prepare for all nations. Grant that one day we have our fill there of rich food and choice wines (Is 25, 6).
3 January 2021
Epiphany of the Lord (B)
Is 60, 1-6; Eph 3, 2-3a. 5-6; Mt 2, 1-12