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hope unveiled

The following questions are meant to help guide you through praying with a profound story in the Gospel: A smart group of men on their search for - and eventual encounter with - Jesus. This story can be found in Matthew 2:1-12. It may be beneficial to journal about them, or even sit before the Tabernacle with them!

Invite the Holy Spirit to guide your time in prayer. Read the passage a few times to become familiar with the story.



The Magi - astrologers from a foreign land - would have been incredibly smart guys. They were from a priestly class, a lot of people would have known what they were capable of, they were men of great knowledge, etc.. Even in the midst of that renowned, they went searching for a King from a different land with great humility and desire. What has your search for Jesus looked like? Is it something that has always been given to you? Are you currently searching for him? Do you believe he is seeking you out in return? Take these questions to him. ...


King Herod is quick to become threatened and anxious about the presence of this new person (Baby Jesus). When in your life have you lost your peace about a changing situation? Changing schools? Issues with relationships or friends? Etc.? What insecurities did those moments bring about? How does Jesus want to heal those moments? "Jesus, where were you in __________?"...


The Gospel writer (Matthew) juxtaposes two groups of smart men in this story: On one side, there are the Wise Men (magi) from the east, who had no details about the birth of the new king, but were eagerly watching in anticipation. On the other side, there are Herod's smart guys (Chief priests and scribes of the people), who had all the details about the birth of the new king at their disposal, but were not expecting him to come (and were even surprised at the news of his birth!). Do you fall into either one of these groups? Are you watching for Jesus in your life, expecting him to act? Have you grown comfortable being someone who 'hangs out around the Temple', but don't expect Jesus to come into other aspects of your life? ...


Imagine yourself on the road with the Magi following the star at night. You know you are about to meet a king - THE King - what are you feeling? Are you nervous? Excited? What do you want to say or do when you see him? Put yourself in the story! How are you preparing to encounter this new King (...to encounter Jesus)? ...


The Magi, set out on their mission to "pay homage to the newborn king of the Jews" knowing full-well that this newborn baby would not be 'paying them homage' in return. "Homage" is a fancy word meaning 'praise' or 'worship'. What do you think made these men want to come to Jesus and simply praise him for who he is? When you pray, what does that time look like? Do you ever go to Jesus simply to praise him for who he is? Do you only come to him when you need something? What would it look like to grow in the practice of praise or worship? ...


Matthew includes the detail that the men show up at the house where Jesus is, and the find the child with Mary, his mother. Immediately the men fall prostrate (flat on the ground). What was it about seeing the child Jesus with Mary in the moments after he was born that made these grown men fall to the ground? What would you have done in that situation? ...


Imagine yourself in the shoes of the wise men planning to give Jesus gifts today. What gifts would you give him? What would be your Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh? ...


You can imagine that the Magi must have been men of great hope - they traversed miles and had difficult conversations all to worship a human they knew very little about, yet they left changed men. As you go into this next season of life, what are you hoping for? Do you believe that Jesus wants to encounter you in those things? Will you let him? ...




ST. CLARE OF ASSISI, PRAY FOR US

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