This last month confirms what we already know. In our day, life is a rush. We zoom in and out of parking lots, serve up already prepared foods, tap our fingers impatiently if our computer is slow. Come on! Come on! Move it! We travel in the fast lane.
Speed marks a new division in our world. In addition to the rich and poor, the haves and have nots, we have the fast and slow. The presumption is that faster is better.
Contrast this milieu with that of the Magi. It is estimated that the Magi’s journey took 1 to 3 years, beginning from different places. A long time to search for truth and meaning. They may have begun before Jesus was born, trusting the star would lead them they knew not where. They met up with one another at some point and trusted one another enough to share the secret of their their individual quests. Only then did they choose to travel together. No walls to bar them from going on together.
As learned astrologers, the Magi could have written up their findings about the star in a journal and left the actual search for others. But no, they were moved in their depths to take up the search, and when they finally saw the child, something leapt between them and the child. God in Jesus was casting a loving look of recognition on the travelers.” See I am here for you.” But it was also the travelers recognizing and gazing on the face of God, saying “See I am here for you.” God and the followers of the star gave each other all they had in love.
Epiphany invites us to journey – to be Magi - to follow a star/ an intuition- grace by another name –slowly, painstakingly, as opposed to travelling recklessly in scattered directions.
Epiphany reminds us that, for the most part, God’s revelation or our own experience of God is not abrupt or sudden. By and large, God’s unfolding in our life is gradual, almost imperceptible, cloaked in the humanity of others as well as our own. It may take years, but we have each others ’ company, if we allow ourselves to share what we have personally been beckoned to.
Epiphany reveals to us that the unknown, that which we discover on our way to our destinations, can and does hold God.
Like the Magi, we don’t come empty handed to the Christ Child. Think today of what you bring this year. What unique gift you bring to honor God and represent who you are.
Let’s not minimize the gifts we bring to the Child who is God Incarnate.
May I, O Lord,
Become an epiphany,
A revelation of my inner self
To all who travel in search of You
So that we may come to you together.
-Sister Joan Sobala