“…they departed for their country by another way.” Matthew 2:12
The story of the Magi making their way to find the new born king is one for us to ponder with great hope for our own journey of faith. Led by a sign from God, a star, they find Jesus the One sent by God to rescue and redeem the world by a message of Love, Joy and Peace.
The journey of the Magi was surely one of uncertainty and many questions. What would their search lead them to? What would they report back to Herod, and what would his response be to what they found? Who would they meet along the way? Would there be doubters trying to sway them from what they sought? Would the star occasionally be overshadowed by clouds? Would they need to correct their bearings or even change course? When they arrived would something more be asked of them?
The obstacles the Magi may have encountered are not different from what we encounter in our search for Jesus. Fear, uncertainty, doubt, distractions and questions can overshadow our signs, our stars. Likewise, what the Magi found is not unlike what we too find–the pure love and wisdom of God in our Lord Jesus Christ. They would not encounter a king on a throne, but rather a king in an unusual and humble setting—a manger. They would meet a king who comes to rule by humility and compassion.
Scripture tells us that the Magi would not return from this meeting by the same route. So too is our journey of faith and encounter with Jesus. When we truly meet Him, we simply cannot return from where we came in the same way. When we receive Him in the sacraments we’re changed. When we give of ourselves, and offer our self-gift in the service of others, we too experience an epiphany. And like the Magi, our pilgrimage takes us on a different road than from where we came.
We, too, will find Christ if we are willing to search for and recognize the signs from God in our own time that lead us to Him. As this Christmas Season comes to a close, we’ve once again experienced the great mystery and the reality of Emmanuel—God with us. May they bring about our own Epiphany in this New Year—a closer walk with the One who comes to save all of mankind!