Vocation Meditation -
Solemnity of the
Epiphany of the Lord, 2010
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him."
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: `And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'"
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him."
When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
In the last Sunday of Ordinary Time, before the start of Advent and the Christmas season, the Church provided us with the Solemnity of Christ the King. At the time, we reflected on the majesty of Christ, even in the face of vicious and cruel persecution, and cast our gaze towards the future, when the entire world would recognize the kingship of our Lord and Saviour.
Today, we see the fulfillment of the hope of that earlier feast.
Christ reveals Himself to all the nations through the light of the star in the East and the light of faith. The Magi - who represent the people of every place and every race - are the first to recognize and acknowledge the King of Kings.
As such, great joy was given to them...to those men who did what they were supposed to do. God called the wise men for a purpose: to find the Lord, to worship Him, to offer Him "their treasures", and to take the fact of His birth with them when they departed.
Their doing what they were supposed to do was not easy. Their travels would have been arduous, through difficult terrain and in the dead of winter, at great expense and with little encouragement.
Yet, they persevered and were rewarded with an intimate moment at the feet of Jesus Christ, King of King and Lord of Lords. How good must it have felt to present the Creator of the universe with "their treasures"!
"When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy"
Do we embrace with joy our vocation as illuminated and made known by the light of Christ?
By Your loving providence and by the light of the star, You guided the wise men to seek out and serve in worship Your son, Jesus Christ. They were determined to find the newborn king and to pay Him homage. May we who seek to give our treasures to Christ never fail in our determination. Fortify us with Your grace and help us to do "what we are supposed to do". Amen.
For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.