"I have called you by name, you are mine." (Isaiah 43:1) Jesus had probably heard these words before seeking baptism from John the Baptist. As Jesus comes up out of the water, we have a hint of the working of the Trinity – a true ministry of collaboration. Jesus prays, the Holy Spirit descends as a dove, and the Voice calls him by name.
Today we explore the passage telling of the visit of the wise ones to the Christ Child and understand that this amazing baby was coming to the Hebrew people AND to all people. Christmas carols and cards have embossed the bare bones story Matthew provides. So we most likely envision three kings riding camels and dressed in elegant robes with fancy crowns. The wise ones probably represent three different cultures or races.
Here we have Salvation history in a nutshell. In the beginning was the "Word." Word as verb: moving, creating, redeeming. Word: creating since the beginning, now here as an infant. The prophets proclaimed this would happen, right through to the last of the prophets: John the Baptist. We have the law, thanks to Moses. Now we receive grace and truth through Jesus, the only Son. He is the Light; the Light that no darkness can extinguish dawns on. Now we are invited to decide who is this child for us?
Mary has simply accepted the message the angel gave her. Now she goes to the one other woman on the planet with whom she can talk: her elderly cousin, Elizabeth, who is expecting a baby whose name will be John. Blessed is she who believes. But what does Mary make of the baby in Elizabeth's womb "leaping" at the sound of Mary's voice? Who is the baby John? Who is this baby Mary carries?