ephiphany

the three kings

The Three Kings

A very good priest friend of mine has two very beautiful dogs as his pets. Tomas and Hanna bring a lot of joy to the rectory. Due to the warm climate that we enjoy in Corpus Christi, the two dogs spend most of their time outside, behind the rectory, in a large fenced off area.

In the local neighborhood, there also exists a rather large pack of very cruel and ugly dogs. They roam about the night, annoying all of the neighbors by knocking down garbage cans and eating what is spilled all over driveways and backyards.

Frequently, this vicious pack of dogs will cross through the parish property and attack Tomas and Hanna, although they are quietly behind their fence. Two weeks ago, Tomas had enough and he tried to do something to protect Hanna. As the pack of mean dogs viciously barked at Tomas, he tried to fight back, but of course, the large fence separated himself from his assailants.

As he repeatedly showed his strength and courage with his forceful bark, Tomas got his snout caught between the planks of the fence. The ugly dogs seized the moment and merciless tore at Tomas' face, leaving him seriously wounded.

Somehow, Tomas managed to free himself from the fence and the horrible pack of dogs. He slowly walked away from the fenced in area, and entered into the rectory through the back door. A trail of blood was left behind him as he made his way to his owner's room. The priest must have subconsciously perceived that something was wrong and shortly awoke to find his friend lying in a pool of blood, his face like purple rags as the flesh hung in agony.

Tomas was quickly taken to the veterinarian as his priest friend waited for the outcome of his injuries. The priest wept as he thought for sure that Tomas would not survive such a horrible affliction.

The veterinarian was able to stitch back together Tomas' face, thus enabling him to return home safely. However, just imagine, if in that moment of uncertainty, the priest had a vision of God as he prayed for his friend. Suppose God invited this priest to participate in a mission that would attempt to rectify the injury that was done to his friend by giving the priest the power to become a dog, like his friend Tomas. The priest would no longer talk, walk, eat, think or even feel like a man. If he were to accept this special mission from God, he would take upon himself all of the limitations of a dog. The priest, who loves his dogs so much, accepted the mission from God, and suddenly became a dog.

Back at the parish, the priest, who is now a dog, walks around the neighborhood looking for the vicious pack of dogs that did so much harm to his friend. Days and nights pass by, until finally, one night, he sees the pack of dogs eating food out of overturned garbage cans. The priest walks over to the dogs, and remembering all of the horrible things that the pack of dogs had done to his dear friend, looked at the pack of dogs and said, "I love you, and I forgive you".

This simple story illustrates something about the Incarnation of the Word made flesh. The second person of the Blessed Trinity becomes God-Man in order to save us from our sins. He knows the horrible affliction that our sins have done to God the Father. Within all of this horrendous harm that has been done by the sins of humanity, Jesus, the God-Man, turns to us and says, "I love you, and I forgive you".

The Three Wise Men leave their kingdoms in search of the Word made flesh. They are men, who are left unsatisfied by their possessions of wealth, fame and power, and search for the only one who can satisfy the deepest aspirations of the human heart.

After a long and difficult search, they discover the place where He lays, and they encounter the One who has come to redeem us and fulfill our intense longings. They know who He is because they bring Him the most appropriate gifts: gold for a king, frankincense for a priest, and myrrh for a victim. They know that He is the Messiah, Jesus the Christ, the only one through whom salvation can be found.

Because the Three Kings were open and sincere, they were given the gift of faith. Through this gift they searched, they found and they believed. What is the quality of your faith? Does the vision of faith direct your life and define who you are? As the New Year begins, ask God to strengthen your faith so that you may receive all of the blessings of this new year with profound gratitude, and persevere through all of the tribulations with patience.


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