The Lessons of the Magi | Friar Reflections | The Epiphany of the Lord

Dear Parishioners,

Epiphany is often seen as the completion of the Christmas story. You’ll notice that our Creche below the altar is now complete with the magi in place, given their scriptural appearance in this weekend’s Gospel. While Epiphany provides a nice bookend to the Christmas season, there are lessons we can learn from the visit of the magi that remain relevant to this day.

Lesson 1: Seek Him:
We need to actively seek out God in our lives. God speaks to us and give us directions. While there may not always be a big sign, like a star, we needn’t expect something huge or unavoidable to hear Him. Rather, we should survey the heavens, and be attentive to God’s whisper and have the courage to act!

Lesson 2: Embrace the Challenge
We should expect that, whatever path God asks us to take, it is going to be challenge for us. I’m pretty sure the magi had a rough time getting across the desert and wilderness to Jerusalem. Often times, the more difficult path is the path God asks us to follow; think Robert Frost and “The Road Not Taken.

Lesson 3: Swim Against the Current
Don’t be too quick to follow the crowd. In God’s way, the crowd is often wrong, and we usually come to our faith as individual children of God. Remember, the magi were a small group, maybe just three. Still, they recognized the birth of the Messiah, while “all Jerusalem” essentially missed it. With God, the minority is often the right place to be. We often need to find our own way.

Lesson 4: Share Yourself with God
Break open the gift of yourself before God. The magi presented the Christ Child with very precious, yet material gifts. We are called to bring to God our very best self. They gave him their treasures, the very best they had. We are called to do likewise. Recognize you own special giftedness and pay homage to God by making the most of what God has blessed you with.

Lesson 5: Return Changed
After meeting the Christ child, the Gospel tells us that the magi “returned to their own country by another way.” More than just geographical, they returned changed, as we should be when we encounter Christ in our lives. When we meet Jesus, we can’t go back the same way as if nothing happened.

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I pray that this celebration of the Epiphany may inspire you to listen carefully for God’s direction in your lives and to boldly set out where He calls. May Jesus in the Eucharist change our lives and set us off on a new way, inspired by the example of the magi. The season of Christmas may be ending, but our journeys towards and with Jesus continues forward!

Peace and All Good,
Fr. Zack