“[The magi] were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.”
“Epiphany” means a manifestation or an appearance of God. Today we are filled with joy because God has visited His people. He has revealed Himself to us.
There is no way we can know who God is if He does not manifested Himself to us. We are trapped; guessing what God might be like. Is He cruel? Disinterested? Selfish? Playful? Nasty? We cannot know unless He shows us. Without an “epiphany” we would be like the magi without a star. We would be left seeking; wandering in a desert with no destination in sight.
Yet God did not leave the magi lost. He sent a star to the magi. He gave them a light to guide them on the way. This heavenly sign was not something the magi invented, it was an invitation that they accepted. The star was a call that they followed.
God also calls us. He has sent us a star to guide us: our Guardian Angel, our conscience, the Church, the Bible, the Sacraments… These are all stars that can lead us on our way. We do not invent them. They are gifts and invitations.
But the star was just the beginning. God did not simply give the magi a direction to travel. He gave them a destination. He did not leave them wandering but led them to an experience. Following that star, the magi made their way toward an intimate encounter with the Lord. That epiphany changed them forever. The magi were filled with joy when they encountered the baby Jesus and His mother. This joy inspired them to go home but in “another way” (Mt 2:12).
We also encounter Jesus. Following the star God gives us, we are led to an intimate encounter with the baby Jesus and His mother. As God manifests Himself to us, may we discover “another way” that leads us to peace in the New Year. May this epiphany fill us with a joy that transforms our hearts and minds.
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood