Welcome to 2019 and the official end of the Christmas season. After today, when the carols have been stilled, the parang and parang soca shelved, the Christmas trees either repacked in boxes or hidden under garbage bags, and we are back to our regular work schedules, the true work of Christmas begins.
The readings today present us with a mix of the politics of that era with the desperation of King Herod, and the stark contrast of the three wise men who, even with all they possessed, longed only for an encounter with Jesus, and having had that encounter, listened to the counsel of their dreams, avoided Herod and returned to their country by a different route.
As we examine our wider society and our own parishes, we too must seek to identify the wise men and women in our midst, those who are prepared to travel long journeys, speak truth to power, and give all that they possess to Jesus.
Even as we engage in the national dialogue on our new Pastoral Plan, we must identify those who are motivated by no more than a desire to do what is good and what would lead us to wholeness.
Where are our wise men who will leave the comfort of the pews and professional spaces and journey with the Church to place their offerings at the service of God and His people?
Where are our wise men in the political and civil arenas who, even in their wisdom, listen not only to themselves but to the promptings of God so that they are able to chart a different route for a crime and corruption-free society?
Where are the wise men of our Church who will craft our youth and young adult formation programmes so that our young people stay in the Church post-confirmation?
Where are the wise men and women who, in recognising the giftedness of others, perceive them not as threats, but as co-collaborators in the work of God?
As Church we do not have the luxury of taking the other side of this Jericho road. The wise men and women must come from amongst us. We who are called to be light must do all we can to illumine the darkened areas of our society.
We who are called to be salt can ill afford to be as apathetic as the rest, but must once again flavour and infuse the national conversations and consciousness. We who are called to be yeast must enliven our communities by daily demonstrating the values and virtues we have identified as not only lacking, but absolutely necessary for the creation of this civilisation of love for which we yearn.
We must find the different route to return to the country we love.
As Christmas ends, the true work of Christmas begins. While we may not possess gold, frankincense or myrrh, now is the time to bring our gifts and lay them before the King, for Him to do with us what He wills.