Follow Your Guiding Star

2022년 1월 2일

Follow Your Guiding Star

< The Epiphany of the Lord >

    Today we celebrate the manifestation of Jesus to the non-Jewish world, represented by three Magi, who were Zoroastrian priests from Persia. Last week we heard Luke’s gospel when the birth of Christ was revealed to shepherds. Shepherds were not only poor, because they couldn’t stop working on the Sabbath (Saturday), they were considered societal outcasts (and they probably smelled funny.) Today we hear Matthew’s gospel telling how the Messiah (king) of the Jews was first revealed to Gentiles (non-Jews) who were not only foreigners but practiced a pagan religion with superstitious beliefs (in this case, star gazing or astrology.) The foreign Magi knelt to worship this newborn king of the Jews, while King Herod wanted to kill him.

There are many lessons in today’s gospel. One shocking one is that belonging to the “right” religion doesn’t guarantee you’ll find God. Indeed, with the Magi, having the right attitude, an open mind and pure heart seem more important. The gifts the Magi offer show they recognize this baby as a king, both human and divine. Then there’s the star that guided the wisemen from Persia across foreign lands till they found him in Bethlehem. What does this have to teach us today? We are all looking for God, which is to say we are looking for meaning, holiness and purpose in our lives. Each of us needs a guiding star to show us the way to fullness of life in Christ. It could be your daily prayer, Bible study, or helping people in need. The point is never to get discouraged when God seems far from you. Even our searching for God is part of the process. Keeping an open mind and pure heart will surely help us recognize God in our midst. Follow your star!