Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6, Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8,10-11,11-12, Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6, Mathew 2:1-12
Seeking and following the star, the way to walk as Christians
The circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus did not present an extraordinary reality. Most people at his time did not realize who he was or perhaps even doubted because of the ordinariness of the way it happened. He is born in the filth of the kraal, in a manger only known better by the mouths of the cows that fed on it and by the hands of the shepherd who often filled it with hay. This of course is contrary to everyone's expectations for the birth of a king and savior. Yet he manifests himself in such a humble state.
Today mother Church celebrates the feast of the Epiphany. It's also called the feast of light. Light has the quality of revealing, making us see what is hidden. It illumines what is unclear to our perception. So, today's feast manifests to us who this little seemingly vulnerable infant is. The star guided the three wise men to where the baby Jesus lay. They followed its light and never doubted the strangeness of the place on which they found him laying. The feast of the epiphany, therefore, brings to light the Christ who has been born by revealing to us his identity. The magi put themselves on a journey looking for Him. They followed the star and without a doubt keep their attention and focus on it. Through their gifts of gold representing his kingship, frankincense representing his divinity, and myrrh foretelling his death, they show us who the infant Jesus is, that is a King, God, and a savior.
CHANGING OUR LIVES, CHANGING OUR DIRECTION
We could ask ourselves what some of the filthy conditions of our lives that don't attract us are. They may be disgusting and not what we expected yet the humility of the birth of Jesus teaches us that he reveals himself in the humble ordinary happenings of our life. We do not have to look for him in extraordinary events but rather learn to search for him in simple day-to-day experiences. He is born there. He is present there. His star leads us there. Because that is also what he, the light of the world illumines. Our fears, our poverty, our anxieties, our doubts and all that burdens us.
When the magi embark on this long trek in search of him guided by the star, they are moved by the conviction that he is the savior and king. They do not deviate from the inevitable consequences of following the star. Imagine how much they had to keep their heads high so as not to lose sight of it. This is the posture we need to assume as Christians, walking with our heads raised to the source of light Christ. At times we keep our heads on things that are down on earth instead of focusing on things above.
When the magi eventually encounter him, they pay him homage and do not return through the same route. When we encounter Christ, the direction of our lives changes, we don't go back to our past but we draw lessons out of it and move towards a different direction. We develop a new vision and our route changes. May the newborn Christ reveal himself to us and transform our lives with his light. Be blessed!