Although there are fine texts for the blessing of homes, neither the Book of Blessings nor Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers explains the traditional method for blessing homes this day using incense, chalk (an incarnational image because it reminds us of the dust of the earth from which we were made), and “Jordan water.” The chalk is used to mark 20 + C + M + B + 20 over doorways. The numerals consecrate the new year 2020 The initials remind us of the legendary names of the magi—Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar—and also stand for the Latin motto Christus Mansionem Benedicat (“May Christ bless the house”). Ask your parish if you can have your house blessed in this manner.
Like the magi, we also have the opportunity to come seek the Lord. It is a journey we make throughout our lives, looking for the Lord’s presence in the world, in our lives, in ourselves. Like the magi, who return home a different way, encountering the Lord often leads us to change course.
How has an encounter with the Lord led you in a new way? Are you willing to change your route in the future?