Nobody is rich enough to claim that one needs nothing more and nobody is poor to the extent that one has nothing to offer.

The Epiphany of the Lord

Is. 60: 1-6; Psalm 71; Ep. 3: 2-6; Mt. 2: 1- 12

Read: When Jesus was born in Betlehem of Judaea, during the reign of king Herod, some wise men came to Jerusalem from the East asking “Where is the infant king of the Jews? Because we saw his star as it rose, and we came to do him homage …. “. As soon as they saw the star they were filled with great joy. When they entered the house and saw the infant with his mother Mary, they fell down on their knees and paid homage to him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

Reflect: The star regarding which St. Matthew relates in his Gospel in found not only in the heavens but also in the Bible. “I am seeing this, but not yet; looking at it but not from near. A star is emerging from Jacob, a sceptre is rising from Israel; to strike the brow of Moab, and of Seth’s children. Edom too will be conquered land; Seir too will be a conquered land, when Israel exerts his strength, when Jacob tramples on his enemies and destroys the last survivors of Ar.” (Numbers 24: 17-19)  

Thus spoke Balaam, “the prophecy of the man with far-seeing eyes, the prophecy of one who hears the word of God, and sees a vision of God who is most powerful”.  (Numbers 24:3). This was about 1,200 years before Christ’s birth. From that time, the Jews started waiting for the rising of this gleaming star which was none other than the Messiah himself. Thus, Jesus is that star!

St. Matthew was writing his Gospel in the year 80 AD. He was seeing that the pagans were joining the Church in great numbers. They recognised and adored the Star, whilst the Jews, who were waiting for many centuries, denied him. Therefore, the story of the magi is a “parable” of what was happening in the Christian community towards the end of the first century. The pagans had recognised the infant of Betlehem, their King and God, and they offered Him gifts. The Magi are symbols of people from around the world who are led and enlightened by Christ. He is the symbol of the Church made up of people of every race, tribe, language and nation.

Joining a church does no mean that one denies one’s identity. This does not mean that one submits oneself to a false and unjust uniformity. All persons and peoples maintain their characteristics and culture. This is the way in which the Church enriches itself. Nobody is rich enough to claim that one needs nothing more and nobody is poor to the extent that one has nothing to offer.

Pray: Lord, you have no frontiers, barriers, cultures. You desire that all peoples inherit those who seek you. Lord I wish to see you clearly, so as to love you more, serve you better, to be attached to You more securely!

Act: If the star is Jesus himself, should we remove it from our cribs? No! Let us contemplate the star and show it to our children, whilst explaining that the star is not simply a star in the heavens, but is Jesus. He is the light that enlightens every person (St. John 1:9). He is ‘the Star shining in the morning” (Apok. 11: 16).

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