Reflecting on Matthew 2: 1-2
Wouldn’t you love to know more about those mysterious Magi, who left everything to follow a Star from the day of its rising? They fascinate me. There are innumerable legends about them, including their names Balthazar (of Arabia), Melchior (of Persia), and Caspar (of India). One of the more charming legends is that in the ancient silk road city of Taxila (in present-day Punjab, Pakistan), one of the Magi passed through the city on the way to Bethlehem.
Later Christian writings identified them as kings, certainly because the Old Testament scriptures bear many prophecies of royalty. Today’s first reading from Isaiah 60:1-6 refers to “kings coming to the brightness of your dawn,” and the Responsorial Psalm sings of “all kings falling down before him” (72:11). It made perfect sense to imagine that these very wise men must have been the royalty the Old Testament writers were awaiting. Maybe they were.
Here’s what fascinates me. These Gentiles saw a bright star rising, and they left everything to follow it. When it hovered over Jerusalem they stopped and announced themselves as ones who had come to give homage to the newborn King of the Jews. Isn’t that astounding? They were willing to leave their pre-Christian worldviews in search of a Jewish King. Why?
I think it’s because that’s how God touches all of us. God recruits all of nature to tell the glory of God. The winter chill, the spring rains, the abundant summer fruits, the stunning autumns, all speak to a God who is with us. I think the Magi were just fascinated, as we are, by the heavens touching down to earth, and saying, “Here. Here. Come and worship.”
What was your greatest “Epiphany” of the nearness of God this year?
Kathy McGovern ©2022