Willingness to Move?
"Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to worship him.” - Mt 2:2
King Herod and the Magi represent two opposite attitudes in all of us towards light in today’s Gospel. The Magi were open to something new. They followed their inner restlessness: their longing for greater meaning and purpose, for life, for peace, for God. They were willing to move beyond their comfortable places and venture beyond.
Herod, on the other hand, resisted the light. He knew that the Messiah can be found in lowly Bethlehem, but he did not move. Instead, he wanted to find the child Jesus to destroy, not to worship. He represents people who wants to control everything and everyone, those who want to win at any cost, those who sits atop their wealth yet cannot see beyond it, those who squashes anyone who questions their certainties and truths. Herod depicted a heart unwilling to move, unlike the Magi who were open to something new.
To be honest, I find my heart more like Herod's than like the Magi's. In these first days of the New Year, I find myself worn by dreary routines, not wanting to be drawn out of an ironclad isolation, thinking that nothing can change. I have not yet summoned strength to seek greater life. Perhaps my desire is spent, sapped by the challenges of many responsibilities and needs. I don’t feel like moving.
Yet, it’s incredible to realize that God wants to be born in our hearts, even when we don’t want to move. God wants to be born where we least expected, or perhaps desired, in a place where we so often refuse God, where we cannot imagine, where we struggle to believe, let go, or forgive. It boggles my mind: where there was absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited.
Yesterday, something happened during Mass. I don’t remember responding in a heartfelt way just before receiving communion, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” Yet afterwards, I find myself a bit like the Magi, getting on my knees to adore the Child Jesus, wanting to enter into a personal communion of love with him. It is a small step, a tiny opening. Yet, I am grateful for this move.
Jesus, shine your light within my unwilling heart. Give me the desire to want to move towards you.