Josemaría Escrivá Obras
35

Such was their sentiment that the Gospel almost repeats itself: "When they saw the star again they rejoiced with exceeding great joy." Why were they so happy? Because those who never doubted receive proof from the Lord that the star had not disappeared. They had ceased to contemplate it visibly, but they had kept it always in their soul. Such is the Christian's vocation. If we do not lose faith, if we keep our hope in Jesus Christ who will be with us "until the consummation of the world," then the star reappears. And with this fresh proof that our vocation is real, we are conscious of a greater joy which increases our faith, hope and love.

"Going into the house they saw the child with Mary, his Mother, and they fell down and worshipped him." We also kneel down before Jesus, God hidden in humanity. We tell him once more that we do not want to turn our backs on his divine call, that we shall never separate ourselves from him, that we shall remove from our path all that may be an obstacle to our fidelity and that we sincerely wish to be docile to his inspirations. You, in your own heart, and I in mine — because I am praying intimately with deep silent cries — are telling the child Jesus that we desire to fulfil our duties as well as the servants of the parable, so that we too may hear the response: "Well done, good and faithful servant."

"Then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, of gold, frankincense and myrrh." Let us pause here a while to understand this passage of the holy Gospel. How is it possible that we, who are nothing and worth nothing, can make an offering to God? We read in the Scriptures: "Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above." Man does not even manage to discover fully the depth and beauty of the Lord's gifts. "If you knew the gift of God!" Jesus exclaims to the Samaritan woman. Jesus Christ has taught us to expect everything from the Father and to seek first of all the kingdom of God and his justice, and everything else will be given to us in addition, for he knows well what we need.

In the economy of salvation our Father looks after each soul with loving care: "Each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another." It would, therefore, seem useless to be concerned about presenting to the Lord something that he has no need of. As debtors who have nothing with which to pay, our gifts would be like those of the old law that are no longer acceptable to God: "Sacrifices and oblations and holocausts for sin you have not desired: neither are they pleasing to you."

But the Lord knows full well that giving is a vital need for those in love, and he himself points out what he desires from us. He does not care for riches, nor for the fruits or the beasts of the earth, nor for the sea or the air, because they all belong to him. He wants something intimate, which we have to give him freely: "My son, give me your heart." Do you see? God is not satisfied with sharing. He wants it all. It's not our things he wants. It is ourselves. It is only when we give ourselves that we can offer other gifts to our Lord.

Let us give him gold. The precious gold we receive when in spirit we are detached from money and material goods. Let us not forget that these things are good, for they come from God. But the Lord has laid down that we should use them without allowing our hearts to become attached to them, putting them to good use for the benefit of all mankind.

Earthly goods are not bad, but they are debased when man sets them up as idols, when he adores them. They are ennobled when they are converted into instruments for good, for just and charitable christian undertakings. We cannot seek after material goods as if they were a treasure. Our treasure is here, in a manger. Our treasure is Christ and all our love and desire must be centred on him, "for where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also."

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