There is a beautiful story, which is told every Christmas in the woods of Provence in the south of France, that I would like to share with you.
Four shepherds went to see the Baby in Bethlehem. The first three brought presents. One brought eggs, another brought bread and cheese, and the third brought wine. The fourth shepherd, named L’Enchanté, didn’t bring anything.
Well, during their visit in the night, the first three shepherds talked with Mary and Joseph. They talked about how well Mary looked, the quality of the manger, how Joseph had been able to secure provisions, of all the stars in the sky, etc. They congratulated the parents, presented their gifts and assured them that if they needed anything they only had to ask.
Finally sombody asked, "Where is L’Enchanté?"
They looked everywhere, high and low, above and below, inside and outside. Finally sombody looked toward the mattress that had been placed at the entrace to the manger. There, kneeling, was L’Enchanté, the Enchanted One. Like a flag or a flame taking the direction of the wind, he had followed the direction of his love.
Throughout the night, he had remained in adoration, whispering: Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus.
Depending on how we go in this journey together, what gifts will we bring Him?
This Advent season, Christmas and Epiphany tell us that ultimately one present will be satisfactory.
Had he been with them, L’Enchanté would have been right at home with the Three Kings on their knees — just as the Evangelist of today tells us, "they prostrated themselves and paid him homage.
My prayer is that we also, all the days, are at home with L’Enchanté and the Magi:Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus.
Father Mugavero is pastor of Holy Apostles Church in Rochester.