“Behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage’” (Matthew 2:1-2).
My dear friends in Christ, as we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, we hear about the great story of the three wise men who seek the Savior by following the star. What is amazing to me about these “three kings” is that they traveled a long, long distance not in search of some kind of treasure, but in search for the King. They did not come to seek riches and power, but rather, they came to worship.
When we think of the magi, we might fall into the trap of looking at them one-dimensionally, as if it were through their research and knowledge alone that they found the star which led them to Jesus. This type of thinking can leach into our spiritual lives as well, where we begin to think that it is by our effort and searching alone that we grow closer to the Lord.
Rather than focusing on the magi’s search for God, let’s put the focus on God himself. The wise men were not the only ones doing the seeking… the story is primarily about God’s search for us! Look at how God used the star to win over the hearts of these three Gentiles from the east! St. John Chrysostom said it beautifully: “God called them by using what was more familiar to them, and he showed them a great and wonderful star so that they were amazed by its greatness and beauty.”
Christianity is primarily about God’s search for us. God became man that he might seek and find us. His grace is always at work, and he is always calling us closer to himself. Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, the one who leaves the ninety-nine in the wilderness in order to go after the one, lost sheep. In a poem by Francis Thompson, he calls the Lord “the Hound of Heaven,” the one who runs after us after we flee from him.
So yes, seek the face of the Lord—seek the star—but first and foremost, ask the Lord for the grace to allow yourself to be found by him! Make a New Year’s resolution to set aside some time for prayer each and every day. Slow down, and let yourself be found.
Fr. Tom Skaja