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. A major theme in Matthew’s Gospel is the conflict between good and evil. That conflict is epitomized by the religious leaders of the Jews who are in cahoots with civil authorities to preserve their own power and position. We would like to end our Christmas story with good feelings as the three magi arrive at the house of the child, do him homage and give him gifts — something we ourselves long to do. But inside this lovely scene we meet this theme of evil against good in Herod, who had plotted to use the magi as spies to find the dangerous baby. But God’s providence intervenes through a dream; they recognize evil and do not return to Herod. Recognizing evil is a talent we Christians must have in our holiness journey. It is easy to make excuses for people, institutions and ourselves for bad behavior. Recognizing evil is the first part of discerning what to do about it. How am I dealing with the evil I see in me and around me?
— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia