(Matthew 2:1-12) Sometimes life’s most profound insights come from the simplest encounters and experiences. In this week’s Gospel, three visitors come to Jerusalem seeking the King of the Jews, whose star they had observed in the sky.1 They were drawn to follow it in order to meet and learn something of this new King. Imagine their surprise when they discover not a majestic king, but a poor and humble babe with only a manger for a bed. Yet they couldn’t help but be moved by what they found, for they opened their treasure chests and offered the newborn King gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.2
The Magi, thought to be Persian astronomers, were considered among the wisest men of the day because they could see into the heavens and “read” the stars. Yet this account speaks not only to the wisdom of the Magi, but also to the wisdom of God. Naturally, God would call the wise men to Him through the stars. It was a place with which they were familiar, their “territory.” But the answers they sought weren’t to be found in the night sky. The stars were simply the means to point the way to a much greater truth – He, who is Truth.
What about us? Where do we seek Him? What the wise men discovered that day – and the gift they give to us – is that if we keep the eyes of our hearts and minds open, if we are willing to accept His humble appearance, God will make himself known. We don’t even have to look very far, for the Lord meets us where we are – in the everyday circumstances of our lives. As parents, we encounter Him in our children and families, teachers discover Him in their students, and businessmen meet Him in their clients and co-workers. When Jesus is born into our hearts, we begin to see Him in the faces of the people we encounter each and every day. Through God’s grace, all those in our lives help lead us closer to Him. These ordinary, everyday epiphanies then, become the means of our salvation. What could be more extraordinary than that?
– Kelley Holy
1 Cf. Matthew 2:2
2 Cf. Matthew 2:11