The Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ gives us opportunity to reflect on the light of Jesus Christ as the light for all nations. The magi from the east represent the pagan cultures surrounding the People of God. They come seeking a newborn king, whom they expect through their charting of the stars in the sky. They have used their human reason to approach Jesus without truly knowing Who He Is. Imperfect as their desire may be, they do seek the Christ. And He Who Is their true God and King receives them on the throne of His Blessed Mother’s lap. Their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh prefigure Jesus’ kingship, divinity, and death—powerful images for us who know the whole story yet to come.
In the same way today many people seek God through reason or in nature or in some other imperfect way. They may not even know that it is God whom they seek. They are simply aware of a desire to touch something greater than themselves. Now, as then, He can be approached through the beauty of nature, His Kingdom, through the truths revealed in His Passion, Death, and Resurrection for us, or in the charitable goodness carried out by the Church, His Body. We ought to honor this seeking of our secular brothers and sisters. We must be open to receiving them, whatever their approach may be. We need to receive them with dignity as Mary and Joseph received the magi, even if they come from another tribe, culture, or nation than our own.
All who seek ought to find Jesus Christ. May we be effective missionaries and apostles who provide hospitable charity and belonging to all who come to us.
Peace in Christ,
Father Matthew Kuhn
p.s. Please keep me in prayer this week as I will be on my annual 5-day canonical retreat Sunday to Thursday.