Our January 8th Gospel is the story of the three “magi” or three “kings.” This story is from Matthew’s infancy narrative. Infancy narratives are teaching stories that serve as introductions to themes of the main Gospel which follows. Matthew is writing for Jewish converts, and he is using his magi story to connect his hearers with references from Hebrew Scripture — such as Numbers 24:15-17 and Micah 5:1 and Isaiah 60:1-6. By doing this, Matthew is trying to make it easier for his Jewish converts to harmonize their inherited faith with their new faith in Jesus. Especially difficult for these Jewish converts was understanding that the covenant, which they thought was only for them, the chosen people, was actually offered to the whole world — as represented by these three foreign Magi from the East. Hmmm … I wonder: don’t many Americans, including Catholic Americans, try to keep the dream and reality of America just for themselves instead of sharing it with others? And don’t some of us Catholics struggle to see how our traditional teachings can harmonize with our Pope’s call to the seeming newness of mercy and inclusion? How is the Lord stretching your expectations and assumptions?
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia