While we all know the Magi who greet the Christ child with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, we can sometimes take for granted that the light they saw led them to action. While knowledge is power, it is useless until it is applied; may the wise men inspire us to put the gift of our lives in service for the Lord.
The Magi were guided by a star to Jerusalem. They were led by its light, and along the way inquired among the people where they might find the king and were thus directed to Bethlehem. I am struck by the two complementary components that were necessary for their journey: Light & Sight.
Light: the star that blazed in the sky for all to see
Sight: the effort of the Magi to use the Light to find their way.
Without light, sight is impossible. Without sight, the light is wasted. Many people saw the light of the star, but the Magi acted on it – seeking through a long journey to find the King of Kings.
God’s light continues to shine in our world today. Do we open our eyes and see with the gift of faith the wonders that the Lord sets before us? Make no mistake: we believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, the Scriptures, and our fellowship “where two or three are gathered” in his name.
We are invited to follow the example of the Magi and seek the Lord in our lives – using our senses and resources to respond to the blessings we have have received. May we use our Sight to follow the Light!
The Magi were guided through the illumination of knowledge and faith to the Christ Child. We, too, can be guided through the challenges of life when we we use our minds to the best of our ability and get down on our knees to pray for wisdom.
There are several wonderful points for reflection in this well known gospel reading:
The Magi who come from the East
A star that guides them
The perplexity of King Herod and all Jerusalem
The fulfillment of the prophecy of Micah (“And you Bethlehem…”)
The plot of King Herod
The gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh
The warning of the Magi in a dream not to return to Herod
The word epiphany means “to shine upon” and it is the illumination of this story – by starlight, prophecy, gifts, and foreign wisdom – that help us see how God works in our world.
The birth of Christ brings light by which people begin to see the Lord. We are no longer in darkness! What’s more, this light is available to all peoples…for the prophecy of Micah in the Jewish tradition and the study of the stars guide the Magi to Jesus.
This light continues to shine in our world today. God’s grace casts out darkness and brings light to guide us as we seek to follow the Lord through the cares and worries of daily life. May we seek out the Lord’s light for our lives, and help others to be directed in faith to find Jesus Christ.