The twelfth of the Twelve Days of Christmas

Adoration of the Magi by Andrea Mantegna

The Twelve Days begin on Christmas Day and end on January 5, the day before the traditional date for Epiphany.  On these 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany, we'll look at some images of Mary and Joseph and Jesus.  For previous entries, click here. 
 Twelve Days 2012

The Twelfth of the Twelve Days of Christmas: January 5
It's all in the eyes!

(Click on the image for a larger version!) 

The magi offer the Christ Child their gifts, but they still gaze up and off into the distance. Perhaps they're still inquiring of the star: "Is he the One to whom you've drawn us?"

What do you read in the faces of the magi?

And Joseph... Joseph keeps his eye on these wealthy visitors... "How came they knocking on my door?" he must be wondering. 'The gifts are extravagant! What do these strangers want? What do my wife and the child need from me in this moment?"

Not surprisingly, Mother Mary simply keeps her eye on the child of her womb. Might she see in this unexpected visit an inkling of the unexpected twists and turns her son's life will take? But see, too, how she offers the child, holding him forth, already aware that she will, in the end, need to give him away to all who come looking for him...

The Infant's eyes and visage tell us clearly that he has no need of these fine offerings... He wants something from each of us but what he desires doesn't come in a coffer or vase... What he desires comes only in our hearts...

Child of Mary's womb,
apple of Joseph's eye,
welcome us when we come to you:
to visit, to pray,
just to draw near...

Set our gaze on only that star
whose light leads us
along the path of your truth...

Teach us to make of our hearts
the finest gift we have to offer
to you and to others...

When we wonder if we have found you
- or lost you,
deepen our faith
in your faithful pursuit
of us, our lives and our love...

Shine, appear and reveal
the beauty of your face to us
that we might never fail to see you
in all we meet and know...

Guide us, Jesus, by your perfect light...


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