We celebrate today the Feast of the Epiphany, the Manifestation of the Lord or commonly known as the Feast of the three Kings or the three Magi. We know their popular story: they saw the Star of Bethlehem and followed it until it led them to a stable and found Joseph and Mary, with the Baby Jesus lying in a manger. (Read Matthew 2:12)
When I meditate on this, I am always drawn to the star. According to the commentaries, the star represents our faith; our star is our faith, giving us light, guiding us to the God whom we seek. Faith gives us light to perceive what is not yet there, and we hope for it.
The three Magi came from different countries, but they all saw the same star and decided to follow it. At one stage in their journey, they met one another, shared their findings and they travelled together to Bethlehem. Faith that is shared with others becomes stronger. Thus it was with the Magi, so it is with us. Our common faith in Christ brings us together, unites us, no matter who we are are, where we are; and it strengthens us in our search for God. We may not be physically together, we may never see and get to know one another, but wherever we are, because of our faith, we become one body, with Christ Jesus as us our Head! We are one big Church! Each of us sees that “one star”, each of us follows that “one star” and we allow ourselves to be led by it; and no matter what difficulties it brings us in pursuing that “one star”, whatever danger and hardship we may face, as long as we look at that “one star”, we will find the way, we will find what we are looking for, we will “meet” at one point in time… we will arrive and find Jesus, our Savior, the God-with-us!
You may ask: Is not Jesus with us? He is God-with-us, why do we have to seek him? What, then, is faith?
True, Jesus is with us – always. But are we? Are we always with him? Is my faith always strong and alive that I could see him, perceive him in my everyday life? That is the real question. Like the Magi, at one point they lost it. They could no longer see it… but they did not stop there. They inquired, they looked for it… and because their intention was pure and sincere – they want to pay homage to the newborn King – they were rewarded, the star appeared again, this time it’s brighter, bigger, because they were getting nearer their goal. It is also the same with us. Our faith may be tested, but only so that we may have the conviction and the perseverance to continue on our way – with a pure and sincere intention to follow our Lord.
May God grant us a lively and strong faith. May we never waver, for we are not alone. My faith, your faith…together we are strong!