Magi from the East arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” (Matthew 2)
Today we celebrate a delightful feast: the journey of the three magi (kings) who, following the light of a star (comet?), travel a long distance to present their gifts to the new born king!
I received a number of gifts from parishioners for Christmas. Thank-you to all for your gifts and greetings and well-wishes. One of the packages I relieved included a “Bowling Nuns” games with nuns as the pin balls; a “Jesus Saves” coffee mug featured Jesus clipping coupons from the newspaper; a bottle of frankincense and a bottle of myrrh (but no gold!?); and a mini humidifier…hey, wait, I just had an epiphany: Is the humidifier to vaporize the frankincense? Frankincense and myrrh are alleged to have beneficial health qualities and enhance your spiritual/prayer experience when inhaled (vaporized?). Maybe it will help me get over my cold, too.
The feast today reminds us of the importance of the journey of faith, our ongoing quest for meaning and direction in our life, especially the spiritual meaning of our life and our final destiny. For us as a people of faith, the magi’s journey to the Christ-child and the offering of gifts is an acknowledgement of the greatness of God found in the humble state he put himself in for our salvation.
The word Epiphany” means “Manifestation”. God manifested himself to the magi and brought him to the Christ through the light of a star.
God uses any means he can to guide us along the path of life. He is always offering us signs of his saving presence. As Catholic Christians, we believe He offers us signs especially through the Mass: in the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist; in all the Sacraments; through our relationships with others, and in the events of our ordinary life. It is our responsibility and adventure to look for, be aware of, discern (test), and follow his presence in the signs he gives us of his life and love.
Have a nice journey!