Who Did Christ Come For?

2021년 1월 3일

Who Did Christ Come For?
< The Epiphany of the Lord >

 Take a look at our Nativity set. We see the familiar figures: baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, angel, shepherds, ox, donkey, sheep. And today we add the last to arrive: Magi (wise men) from the East, with a camel or two. Interesting factoid: the gospel does not say there were three. There may have been many more! We think there were three because of the three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (It has been suggested that had the Magi been women, they’d have offered more practical gifts: diapers, formula, and a casserole.) But were are the others? Where are the priests, Levites and scholars who studied the scriptures and awaited the birth of the Messiah? Why aren’t they part of the Nativity scene?

Of course, the point of the Magi is that these foreigners, using astrology, that is, superstitious practices, sought and found Christ when the followers of the “right religion” did not. The Magi sought God with pure hearts. What’s more, the Magi not only found the newborn king of the Jews, their gifts reveal they knew who this baby was: gold for a king, frankincense for God, and myrrh to anoint his dead body. In addition, because these Magi were non-Jews, today’s feast reveals that Christ came for ALL people, Jews and Gentiles—and that means us! We are Catholic today because God revealed Jesus to the Gentiles. Christ came for all peoples. The Magi “returned home by another way” means once they found Christ, they no longer needed to read the stars to discover God’s will. God had revealed himself to them, as he does to us, through faith. What gift would we offer Christ to show what Jesus means to us?