Working with the Word
Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: Born in Bethlehem, magi ... arrived in Jerusalem, Where is the newborn king of the Jews
To the point: Arriving at Jerusalem, the magi thought they had come to the birthplace of “the newborn king of the Jews,” for Jerusalem was the traditional home of the Jewish king. But the “newborn king” was not where they expected to find him. He was in Bethlehem, the home of David before he was made king, when he was still a simple shepherd boy. This king “who is to shepherd … Israel” was not born in a palace, but in a simple abode; was not given homage by Jewish elite, but by foreigners; was not given only gifts acknowledging his kingship but also a gift of myrrh pointing to his passion; was not to be limited in his reign to the Jewish nation, but would reign over all peoples. Where do we expect to find this “newborn king,” and who do we expect him to be?
Connecting the Gospel …
… to the Second Reading: The second reading makes explicit that Christ came for all peoples: the “Gentiles are coheirs” and “copartners in the promise” of Christ for salvation.
… to experience: Expectations shape our attitudes and actions more than we realize. If we expect failure, we will probably fail. If we expect happiness, we have a better chance of finding it. If we limit where and how we expect to encounter Christ, we will miss so many opportunities to find him.
**From Saint Louis University