Vidimus stellam eius in Oriente et venimus cum muneribus adorare Dominum.
“We have seen His star in the East, and have come with gifts to adore the Lord (Epiphany Mass, Communion Antiphon, Mt 2:2).”
Today we are invited to follow the Star and adore Our Infant Lord with the Magi. Scripture tells us:
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold 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.” When King Herod heard this he was greatly troubled, and all of Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler Who will shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I may go and do him homage.” After their audience with the king they set out. And behold the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. They opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another route (Gospel, Epiphany Mass, Mt. 2: 1-12).
We know from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition that the Magi were real, and that in supreme humility they visited Our Lord, and offered tokens of their earthly wealth in Adoration of their Creator. We have come to revere the wisdom and courage of these royal visitors. They embarked on a perilous journey, forsaking the comfort of their dwellings in search of the Infant King. Deep and abiding faith fueled their sojourn. They had never seen the Divine Infant, the object of their desire, yet they searched for Him diligently.
We are commanded to “love God with our whole heart, whole mind and whole soul, and to love our neighbor as our selves (Luke 10: 27).” The Magi provide a tangible example of the Great Command in action. These wise men loved God from the depths of their being, and sought Him earnestly with their intellects, hearts, and souls. They were willing to forsake familiarity and comfort. Leaving behind the security of wealth and prestige, they embraced humility and danger while searching for the Infant King. The Magi understood that their great abundance was a product of God’s Divine Providential Love. Their saw their treasure and talents as gifts from God, and sought to express sincere gratitude to Him for such copious blessings. God had given them everything, and in return for His superabundant providence, they offered their health, wealth, and service.
When we contemplate the serenity of the crèche, there is a sense of silent awe. We see the Infant Jesus resting in the arms of His Mother Mary, and the Magi prostrating themselves in hushed Adoration. There is a sense of contentment – the object of their desire has been found! Now that their arduous journey is complete; like Jesus, they too can rest in placid joy.
Today, as we celebrate the Epiphany, we are offered an opportunity to partake in the visit of the Magi. We are asked to forsake the comforts of familiarity, and to truly seek the Christ-child with sincere hearts. We are asked to love God deeply, and enlist our hearts, minds, and souls profoundly in the task searching for His Kingdom among us. We are challenged to be content with the gifts we have been given, and to use our earthly treasures to render to Him the greatest honor and glory possible.
Like the Magi, if we earnestly seek Christ, we too shall see His Light dawn within us in radiant beauty, and rest in silent awe as we contemplate His Divine Majesty.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: Deus Dominus et illuxit nobis
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord: The Lord is God and has given us Light (Psalm 118(117):26-27).”