Mt 2: 1-12
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.
They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”
When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Who Do You Follow?
Ignatian Spirituality puts a high value on the search for finding God in all things. Today we celebrate the time when three wise men followed a star they believed would lead them to a newborn king.
They didn’t have a map, but they had the star, their own companionship, and, doubtless, the help of other people along the way. At last, they reached the end of their journey where they found Jesus and Mary, his mother.
We, too, are on similar journeys in our lives, as we seek Jesus and do our best to follow his will for us. We, too, travel in companionship with others and accept the help offered us by people we meet along the way.
What “star” do we follow? Who travels with us? Which people have offered us help along the way?
Lord of all nations,
We longed to see your face, to hear your voice.
We kept the faith, and reached out in prayer
but too often, we failed to find you.
And then, one day at a time,
you placed yourself within reach
in the person of a child as vulnerable as any of us.
King and peasant beheld you–
man and woman
slave and free
Jew and Gentile
for you had come for all.
“Epiphany” we called it.
A living manifestation of the God we call upon.
We have since known other epiphanies:
we have met you in the faces of our brothers,
the grace of our sisters,
the hand that reaches out,
the heart that weeps for the other,
in the strength of one who protects,
in the gentleness of one who forgives.
We have seen your face.
We have heard your voice.
As broken as we are–
as scared and hollowed and sinful–
may others see something of you in us,
may they hear the sound of your voice.
May you be revealed to all nations,
all peoples on earth,
and may epiphanies abound.
Be born in us, O Lord.
—A Prayer of Epiphany from Catholic Relief Services