Many of us are traveling this holiday season. Some use GPS navigation systems and Google maps, but I prefer the long, skinny booklets of my youth called “AAA Triptiks.” Triptiks contained routes highlighted in magic marker. My favorite parts, however, were the sidenotes, which warned of obstructions and offered helpful hints along the way.
After reading today’s gospel, I wonder what sidenotes a Triptik might offer the Magi and those of us who follow after. Here are some possibilities:
–Pay attention. Watch for the stars and other markers around you, as well as the movements within you.
–Set out although the destination is a long way off. Set out even if you aren’t sure what the destination is.
–Don’t go it alone. Seek good company for the road.
–Sometimes you may feel lost, frustrated, homesick, exhausted. Sometimes you may start to doubt the wisdom that guides you. Keep going anyway.
–You have many gifts. Offer them.
–Cross boundaries. Leave behind the worn-out ways and places that no longer serve. Enter into new country.
–Be alert to forces that deceive and cause harm. When prudence dictates, change course.
–Welcome strangers. Welcome foreigners. Welcome the new person you are becoming, the new family, new community, and the new world forming.
–When you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way, this is an epiphany. Bow down before the holy. Lie prostrate, do homage. Pray.
–Let yourself be overjoyed. Don’t hold back.
–Come home a different way.
—Mary Anne Reese is an attorney, poet, and member of Bellarmine Chapel, a Jesuit parish in Cincinnati, Ohio.