As we begin the new year 2019, many of us take the opportunity to look ahead and to mark on our calendars the significant events and celebrations of friends and family, including birthdays, weddings, graduations, but how often do we look forward to the celebrations we will share together as the family of God? Today, the light of God’s glory has been revealed to the nations, as the three magi arrive to adore the Christ Child and to see His Mother. That light and revelation of God will only increase throughout the year, as we celebrate the mystery of the Cross, the saving death of Christ, foreshadowed even today in the gift of myrrh, and as the overwhelming light of the Resurrection dawns upon us, to scatter all darkness and to destroy sin and death forever.
God has big plans for us this year, if we are willing to spend it with Him, if we strive to place Jesus at the center of our families, at the center of marriages, at the center of all that we do in school, at work, in our free time. Jesus is Emmanuel, God-with-us, and He wants to be with us always. Do we welcome Him? Or does Jesus take a back seat to so many other things in our lives? Do we fill our schedules only to give God what is left over, if there is anything left? At the bidding of a star, the three magi uprooted their entire lives. They put all their other plans on hold, to walk hundreds of miles just for a chance to search for the newborn King of the Jews. How many miles would we be willing to walk for God? How many months or years of our lives would we be willing to give in search of Jesus?
In my own life, whether I realized it or not, I was always searching for Jesus. I had lots of interests. I was always an excellent student. I could have pursued pretty much any field of study or career, but I ultimately decided to waste my life on Jesus. Do you know why? It’s not because I thought it would be an easy life. It’s not even that I thought I could make much of a difference as a priest, although I probably thought so at one time. As the culture continues to shift away from God and as different scandals continue to break in parts of the Church, I fully expect to receive the hatred of the world in return for my service. So why am I still here? Why are you still sitting here on a Sunday morning? Why am I willing, even to waste my life in the priesthood? Only because Jesus Christ deserves it.
Jesus deserves everything. The One who gave everything on the Cross for our salvation, for my salvation, He deserves everything in return, whatever smallest good that I am able to accomplish by His grace, whatever small tribute we are able to lay at the feet of Him and His Mother. The magi brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh over many miles to waste them on a Child too small to make any use of them. And Jesus still deserves more. How much are we willing to give Him? How much are we willing to waste on Jesus? He deserves more than just some time on Sunday. He deserves more than what is left over in our schedules and in our energies and resources. In 2019, how much more are you willing to waste on Jesus Christ?