Today we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, a day were we recall the manifestation of Jesus to the world. In the Gospel passage, we are reminded of this mystery as we read the story of the Three Wise Men:
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.
Can you imagine how Mary must have felt when three strangers showed up to pay her son homage? What must she have thought when these three men fell down to worship her baby? Or when they presented him with the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh?
Perhaps she felt confused or surprised by the level of attention they gave her baby, but she still allowed them to visit him. And because of The Wise Men’s brave decision to follow the star and disobey King Herod’s command, they were able to visit Jesus and experience great joy.
The way that The Wise Men followed the star so fearlessly is an excellent reminder for how we should live our faith. Even though we will likely face obstacles along the way—think of the King Herods in your life—if we keep our endpoints in sight—think of the bright star—we will eventually get there.
And so my challenge for you is to ask yourself, Which star am I following in my life? And to remember the words of Pope Benedict XVI as he encourages us to "Let us allow ourselves to be guided by the star that is the word of God, let us follow it in our lives, walking with the Church in which the Word has pitched his tent. Our road will always be illumined by a light that no other sign can give us. And we too shall become stars for others, a reflection of that light which Christ caused to shine upon us."
How can you identify your endpoints and then make a plan to move towards them?
Joan Nagel is a Registered Dietitian, and in her spare time she can be found reading, writing, and drinking coffee. You can find out more about her here.