Sunday, January 3, 2016

Parade of Magi

The Nativity Scene at Old St. Mary in Milwaukee

It felt like a long time since I'd had some quiet, alone time with the Lord, so I eagerly agreed to stay after Mass and wait for my daughter while she attended her Sunday school class as the rest of my family headed home.  I found a vacant back pew and waited for the last of the Sunday worshipers to make their way out of church.  A peaceful bliss ensued as I sat alone in the darkened church with Jesus for my only company.

But soon I noticed a young girl who quietly entered and sat in the back pew across the aisle from me. It wasn't long after that when the sacristan came in to prepare for the next Mass.  After he left, a young mother came in with her baby, softly cooing and they walked to the front of church to admire the Nativity scene.  Then three young men came in and walked around the perimeter of the church, quietly whispering and viewing the beauties of the church.  Next, a Sunday school teacher came in with her young students.  They sat in the front row of church in silent adoration.  Then the sounds of the choir beginning practice in the balcony above filled with space with joyful noise.  Before I  knew it my daughter was tapping my shoulder, telling me her class was over and we left church for the journey home.

I was struck by the steady number of visitors who came and went during the short space of time between Masses on the Feast of the Epiphany.  We were all Magi, looking for the Babe, hoping to give him the gift of our love, however briefly that might have proved to be.  The sight of so many people coming and going enhanced my own prayer and brought me to want to adore the Infant King ever more deeply.  I'm certain we were all made the better for drawing close to Him and are forever changed by His Love.

My favorite picture of a long-ago Ephiphany celebration in the Bender household.  The children are holding star-covered boxes filled with chocolate stars, starburst candies and starlight mints.  We had followed the star throughout our house looking for the Infant Jesus and when we found him we celebrated with King Cake.


  1. What a beautiful, inspired realization. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.