Regardless of the number or the names, the Magi formed part of the infancy of Jesus—that’s why they are important. They share our common passion to know Jesus Christ. Since Magi were foreigners—not only foreigners but from a different religion, therefore the Feast of the Epiphany is about inclusion. From His birth, Jesus set the purpose of the Incarnation. He did not come just to save the Jews, or just the Catholics or only Christians—He came to save humanity. We tend to get a little possessive of our Faith, especially in a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible—that only those who know Jesus Christ will be saved. Common sense dictates that God would not make people in order to destroy them. The Catechism of the Catholic Church #843: “The Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the god who is unknown yet near since He gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved.” Who do we think led the Magi to search for Jesus? What caused them to leave their home in order to follow a star? No doubt that God planted the seed of faith in their heart without them being able to name the desire. All faith, all life, all goodness comes from God. He is the One we takes the initiative to bring us closer to Him. Unlike the Magi we do not have to travel great distances in order to encounter Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus is present everywhere but especially in the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus chose the ordinariness of eating and drinking to make His continued presence available to us. God is certainly consistent—born like one of us, baptized by John, celebrated with newly weds at Cana—God came to get His hands dirty in the messiness of humanity. Basic to our Faith: the Logos became one of us in every way except sin to show us the way to be free from sin.
Wonder if the Magi were disappointed to find only a child with His Mother and Father. No army, no trumpets, no castle. The King of the Jews looked rather helpless—just like He did on the cross with the same title written above His head—“Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” Obviously, Jesus was not interested in power as we know. Jesus promoted the power of Faith.
That’s why He got into so much trouble—for associating with the “wrong” kind of people. Although the Lord was criticized for His behavior, He did not change. He came for the Lost Sheep, the rejected by society, the poor. Blasphemy was charge for capital punishment, but we know the real reason—making friends with the untouchables. Rather than putting up walls, Jesus built bridges. He saved a guilty woman from being stones. He spoke to a Samaritan woman. He touched a woman who had bled for years and healed her. The writers of the Gospel show that Jesus associated with women because other Rabbis never did. Jesus was different. He brought the dead back to life; forgave sins; called God His Father. Jesus changed the world—not with guns but with love. Much progress has been made in 2000 years; yet many challenges are still ahead. Prejudice still exists. We continue to make war. Some folks think that they are better than others because of money, last name or nationality. The visit of the Magi reminds us that wonderful things can happen when we lower our prejudices—when we are less suspicious and more trusting.
Time has come to experience unknown territory—to follow the star—to search for The King where we least expect Him to be.