The Epiphany of the LORD
Sixteen hundred years ago, St. Augustine observed how curious it was that the scribes Herod consulted knew from the scriptures where the Messiah was to be born, and yet made no effort to accompany the magi. They were so close, but chose to be blind. Augustine noted that this blindness opened the door for the rest of us, symbolized by these magi. The infant Jesus could not speak with his tongue, and the pagans did not have the scriptures, so he spoke through a star. They saw, came, worshiped, and then returned home. But not by the same way they had come. There is a literal explanation for this, tied to Herod’s malice. But, as usual, Augustine finds also a deeper significance. They did not use the same road, because they were no longer the same themselves.
An encounter with Christ changes people, the old ways no longer suffice. The same dynamics of conversion should be continually at work in us. As we come better to know Christ, we leave behind patterns of life that exclude his presence.
What do I need to leave behind, to welcome with joy the manifestation of God in Jesus?
—Fr. James Flint, O.S.B. (from Scripture Reflections, We Celebrate Worship Resource, World Library Publications) (some editing by LuceMichael)
Follow the star to a place unexpected / Would you believe after all we’ve projected / A child in a manger / Lowly and small, the weakest of all / Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mothers shawl / Just a child / Is this who we’ve waited for?