“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” (Matthew 2:2)
On Epiphany Sunday, we celebrate the first manifestation of Jesus to the world, so that all people will come to know and love Him. In the Gospel, there are two different reactions to the birth of Jesus, one is troubled and the other is awe. King Herod was alarmed after hearing of the newborn king and called the chief priests to find out where the Christ was to be born. For King Herod, the birth of Jesus was a direct threat to his power. To solve the problem, Herod calls upon the Magi privately, and asks them to “go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.”
Ironically, what King Herod asks the Magi to do is exactly what we should be doing. We, too, should be searching diligently for the Lord and worshiping Him. However, King Herod’s desire to search for Jesus is full of malicious intent to save his kingship. Instead, we as Christians should search diligently for Jesus, truthfully.
The Three Wise Men can teach us three important things. First, the Wise Men notice the star and follow it. We have opportunities to notice God working in our lives, even in times of darkness. The Star of Bethlehem is a symbol of hope, light, and peace. Finding the star in our life will bring us closer to the peace we seek.
Secondly, the Wise Men asked where Jesus was. Just as the Magi asked for directions, we too can to attune ourselves to God and look for “directions.” Surround yourself with other people who are also walking towards Jesus. Together, we can help each other on our journey toward Christ.
Lastly, the Wise Men worshiped God and offered Him gifts. The gifts offered were precious and indicated the high esteem in which the Magi held Jesus. Likewise, we can offer precious gifts of self to the Lord. We can offer all that we are through our sacrifices and by embracing the sufferings that God allows in our lives. We can offer ourselves through prayer, worship, and adoration. We can offer ourselves in service, putting our talents to work to build Christ’s Kingdom.