We know little about the Magi. They come from the East and journey to Bethlehem, following an astrological sign, so we believe them to be astrologers. We assume that there were three Magi based upon the naming of their three gifts. The Gospel does not say how many Magi paid homage to Jesus. In Matthew's Gospel, they represent the Gentiles' search for a savior which means that Jesus came for everyone…not just a select few. And because the Magi represent the entire world, they also represent our search for Jesus.
Regardless of the details, the Magi were willing to make the journey, leave their homes behind, risk the good opinion of fellow scholars, and do whatever was required to find the King of the Jews. They were willing to humble themselves in front of a baby born to parents of modest means, far away from the palace in Jerusalem. At times, our own search to encounter Christ costs us and takes us to places we least expect.
This means having the courage to seek God in these everyday epiphanies. The reality of the Gospel is that God is constantly revealing Himself to us – in our relationship with our friends & family, our work, at school, and the world around us. We are called to do what the Magi did – to take in our experiences, look up and see how God could be using it to change our hearts. Everyday epiphanies are meant to remind us that God is working in a real way not only in our lives, but in our world, and to recognize that God uses whatever He can to show us His will for our life, and this great feast of the Church is proof that the Catholic Christian life is often clearer when walked with other people.
The challenge for us is to go forward as the Magi did – not following a star, but choosing to seek and find God in every part of our lives. By actively searching out these everyday epiphanies, we will receive that clarity we so desire, as well as accomplishing one of the most important tasks of the Christian life: putting ourselves in the presence of God…seeking Him as the Magi did…with no regrets.
By Deborah Gretzinger