Feast of the Epiphany

Divine Dialogue of God with the Soul

January 2, 2022 

 

The star shines bright like flame of Fire;

God, King of Kings, it doth reveal.

The wise Men saw it from afar

and now with gifts before Him kneel.

 

Dear Good People,

 

Blessed New Year to you, and holy Feast of the Manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles. Tradition holds that Jesus was first revealed to the Jewish nation when the angels spoke to the shepherds, and then revealed to the Gentiles when the Wise men from the East followed the Star of Bethlehem to the place where Jesus was. Many legends have surfaced throughout the centuries in countless cultures that tell stories of who these ‘Wise Men’ were—kings, astrologers, philosophers, seekers of the truth—and the difficulties they faced on their journey. One wonders when they first saw the Star: was it long before Jesus was born or on the night when Mary brought Him forth in Bethlehem? What did their wives say when they told them they were leaving to follow a star? Were they from the same country? The same city? Or did they meet up along the way and discover that each was burning with a vision of discovery? And what about King Herod: why did God permit these men to come into the court of Herod, which led to the slaughter of the little boys in Bethlehem as Herod sought to destroy this newborn king he heard of from the mysterious  travelers? The Gospel of Matthew (2:1-12) describes this event in sparse terms, leaving us with much to ponder. Where does our prayer lead us today?

 

Come with me into my reflection on this beautiful mystery.

 

I can’t help thinking about these men, filled with a fire that led them to travel to a destination they knew not, to find a newborn king, carrying gold, frankincense and myrrh for him. What did they talk about on the way: their own histories or expectations, their families, their innermost thirst? Were they afraid, did they ever get discouraged? Did they question the wisdom of the trek?

 

Yet they kept on with a light burning in their hearts.

 

How many times have we felt the way these wise men might have felt? We move in a direction that seems uncertain, even unreasonable, leaving behind the predictable and the sure. We might hope for a certain outcome, but we aren’t promised anything. Still we move forward, risking more than we ever have before, because we believe this is what God wants us to do. There is a   fear within us, but stronger than the fear is the fire, the light that says walk this way because God asks this. He has a plan for us. If we fail, we will at least fail wanting to be faithful. And that, after all, is no failure, but fidelity. And the gifts we offer will be given back a hundred fold, for the sake of the Northern Star—our faithful God who only leads us where He Himself is willing to go.

 

Let us follow our Star wherever it leads us.

Be not afraid.

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“With Mary, our lives continually proclaim the greatness of the Lord and the joy experienced in rendering service to Him.”

Holy Rule

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