Last weekend it was a tremendous joy to be the narrator for our yearly Live Nativity at Most Blessed Sacrament Friary in Newark. As always, it was packed as our neighbors and friends came out to watch volunteer actors put on the Nativity Story. It should also be mentioned that there was great excitement for the live animals that come every year. Always a big hit!
At one point when we were practicing a few hours before, there was a point in the story where the Wise Men go and adore Jesus in the manger. In my own script, there was a note that told the narrator to give a brief reflection about the meaning of Christmas etc. In that moment I remember praying for a “Word” to give the crowd, and of course, nothing came! It was the moment during the actual show that I felt the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. As the Wise Men bowed before the Lord I proclaimed a simple question to the crowd: “My Brothers and Sisters – this Christmas we are confronted with a foundational question in all of our lives – Who will we worship!?” Quiet came over the crowd as I dramatically asked a second time: “Who will we worship?!” I got pretty fired up and went on to talk about the perfect opportunity that Christmas gives us to reevaluate our priorities and consider all the things that get in the way of us truly worshiping God.
Over the last week, this questions still remains at the forefront of my mind and heart. Even as a Friar I need to reexamine where my true worship is. You see my friends, if we truly worship God there is a letting go that has to happen. There is an acknowledgment that we don’t have the answers and that we are not in charge of our own lives. When this movement happens in our lives true “adoration” begins. The Wise Men were looking for the king, someone other than themselves! The answer is in the Child of Bethlehem. HE is worthy of our adoration and worship, and is waiting for us to let go of everything that distracts us and holds us back from him.
Notice in every manger scene the eyes of all the people and animals are looking to Jesus in the manger. This is no accident! Let us beg for the grace this Christmas season to keep our eyes on this Child, and for the much needed reorientation in our hearts and lives to truly Worship Him, who is so worthy of our praise and adoration.
+ Br. Angelus Montgomery, CFR
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