I’ve always been captivated by the story of the Magi. I think it is because they are such mysterious figures who set out on a path of longing - they have a desire for the infinite and the courage to follow it. Needless to say, I spend a fair amount of time each year meditating on this story.
In prayer on Sunday, it occurred to me, that apart from the Father’s entrusting of the Son to Mary, the account of the Magi contains very early intimations of Marian consecration. Here’s the line that sparked this:
“On entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Mt. 2:11)
Regardless of Jesus’ exact age at the time of the Magi’s arrival, he was likely still quite young. Traditionally and in iconography, we imagine that Joseph is on the scene, or at least nearby. What we know from Matthew’s account is that Mary was definitely there with her baby. Suddenly, mysterious men from the East arrive, speaking in a different tongue, prostrating themselves, and offering gifts. What would most any mother do in a situation like this? What would most babies do who have enough awareness around strangers? Well, seeking security, the baby/child/toddler searches out and clings to the source of security: mom. And mom, happy to receive the strangers and the gifts, holds them and allows the baby to open it, or at least to behold it. If these normal dynamics hold true in Jesus’ infancy, then it seems quite possible to believe that the Magi offered their gifts to Our Lord through Mary, His mother. The Magi travel all this way to adore Jesus as He is presented to them by Mary, and to offer Him gifts through Mary.
This account hints at what Marian Consecration is all about - offering the gift of our very selves to Jesus through Mary.
Each year, the Office for Youth Evangelization and Discipleship embarks on a 33-day preparation process according to the method of St. Louis de Montfort, and each member consecrates him/herself (or renews his/her consecration) to Jesus through Mary on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. This year, due to the Annunciation falling on Palm Sunday, that solemnity has been moved to April 9 - meaning preparation for the consecration begins on Mar. 7, 2018.
We would like to invite anyone and everyone, especially youth/campus ministers, spiritual liaisons, and coaches, to join us in the preparation and consecration this year. So, mark your calendars for Mar. 7 and stay tuned for more details about this powerful devotion.