Pause for Prayer: EPIPHANY SUNDAY 1/3

Adoration of the Magi by Andrea Mantegna

(Before Pausing for Prayer, a brief reflection on the image above: in Mantegna's painting, it's all in the eyes!   Click on the image for a larger version)

The magi offer the Child their gifts but they gaze up and off into the distance. Perhaps they're asking of the star they followed: Is this really the One you led us to find?

And Joseph...  Joseph stands apart, keeping a wary eye on these wealthy visitors.  Can you read his thoughts? How came they knocking on my door? Their gifts are so extravagant! I see what they bring to give us, but what do these strangers want from us?

Not surprisingly, Mary, the loving Mother, keeps her eyes on her Child. Might she see in this unexpected visit the twists and turns her Son's life will take? And yet, see how she offers her Child, holding him forth, already aware that he belongs not to her - but to all...

The Child's eyes tell us clearly that he has no need of these fine offerings.  He wants something else from each of is: he desires the gift of our hearts...
O God, 
set my gaze on the only star
whose light leads me
on the path of your wisdom and truth...

Child of Mary's womb,
apple of Joseph's eye,
welcome me when I come to you,
when I draw near to visit and to pray...

Teach me to make of my heart
the finest gift I have to offer

to you and to others...

When I wonder and worry,
if I've ever found or now have lost you,
deepen my faith

in how faithfully you pursue me
every day of my life...
Shine like a star and show me 
the beauty of your face:
let me never fail to find you and see you
in all I meet and know...
O star of wonder, star of night,
star with royal beauty bright:
guide me to your perfect Light...

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