We read the story nearly every year. The Magi travel “from the East” and pay a surprise visit to Jerusalem, including Israel’s King Herod. Why? So they could see the baby who is destined from birth to become king of the Jews. “We saw his when it rose.” Their long trip enable them to not only see Jesus but give gifts to him. That star, those Magi, that journey are at the heart of Epiphany. Have you ever wondered what everyone else in the east, or in Jerusalem, or even Mary and Joseph (for crying out loud!) thought about that star? Did everyone else look at it, shrug their shoulders, and simply go on with their lives? Did anyone else even notice the star?
Brothers and sisters, God is as present to us today as that star was present to the Magi hundreds of generations ago. Some people are profoundly aware of that divine presence. I would hazard the guess that most people are not. I have experienced both the awareness and the blindness in my life. Sometimes my worries, ambitions, self-centeredness, arrogance, hurt, sadness, depression, etc…etc… blur my vision and shut the doors to my soul. The advice of the prophet Isaiah is worth following: “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.” (Is. 55:6) The words of Jesus’ first sermon come to mind: “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is near. Repent, and believe the good news.” (Mk. 1:15) Let the example of the Magi inspire us: They sought. They came. They found.