Today on the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord we read about those mysterious “astrologers from the east” we often call “The Three Wise Men.” (Or, as we used to call them in grade school, “The Three Wise Guys.”). The gospel doesn’t actually say how many there were—some scholars have suggested as many as 12! But we do know they were not Jews. So, this feast celebrates the first public sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ beyond the Jewish faith.
The Magi did not know the person they were seeking to honor. They had not met Jesus, but had embarked upon a long and arduous journey in order to come into his presence. Although they were not among the Jewish people who had received the ancient promises of a Messiah, they were nonetheless anticipating his arrival. And when they found him, “they were overjoyed.”
For those of us raised as Christian, it’s important to reflect on the joy of the Magi. They found Christ as a result of great effort. The very trials of their journey, and the hope that was fulfilled, made them appreciate their encounter with Jesus in a profound way. Converts to the faith may have a kind of advantage in comprehending the experience of the Magi. But cradle Catholics may need to exert a bit more effort to share in the wonder. On the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, we meditate on what it means to “find” Jesus. No matter how we found the Lord, we too should fall down on our knees in adoration and offer him the precious treasures of our fervent, devotion and our will to serve him.
Lord Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords, infant born of the Virgin Mary, your star led the Wise Men to the manger and they paid homage to you in your mother’s arms. We pray to you:
For each person, light this star—
A reason for hope and for love—
A star that rises in the heaven of our hearts and
leads to you.
Together with the Wise Men, we can find then offer you as gifts the gold of our faithfulness, the incense of our prayer, and the myrrh of our sacrifice (Lucien Deiss).
As we bring to a close this Christmas season, may the Lord continue to bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Listen to Sr. Donn’s reflective reading of today’s Gospel: 01.08.17 Gospel
Listen to my homily for today: Epiphany Jan 8, 2017
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish