As a child, my dad would tell the story of La Buffana. According to tradition, Italy’s main celebration is on the 12th day after Christmas, the day Jesus Christ was revealed as the son of God.
According to my dad, legend has it that the three wise men stopped at Stregga Bufanna’s house on their way to Bethlehem and she showed them such gracious hospitality they told her where they were going, and asked her to come along. She declined at first.
“She said ‘I’ll catch up with you’ and she never has caught up, she is still looking and she is stopping at every home to see if the baby Jesus is going to be at that home.”
According to some versions of the story, on her original journey La Buffana had gathered up some toys that belonged to deceased child and she was trying to take the toys to Bethlehem. Since she never got there — she was never able to catch up to the three wise men — she leaves toys for children in every home she visits.
This Sunday’s gospel is a wonderful story and it is easy to get caught up in the details of stars and kings, journeys and searches, newborn Baby and gifts. However, we need to move beyond these details to get to the challenge of the message that is there. The point of the Gospel is amazing- God chooses to manifest the mystery of Christ Jesus to all the nations. And the challenge for us is to become the story.
The light of the glory of God is all around us. We need only to do two things: search for the Christ among us and be the revelation of His Presence. We are to seek the light within us. And we are to become the story. Like La Buffana, we make present the Word that dwells among us and within us through the light of our faithful living of the original story.