Three Kings follow a star to find the Christ child; our journey is much shorter
by Sister Carolyn Zahringer
What is the meaning of the word Epiphany?
- The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Mt. 2:1-12)
- a festival commemorating the Epiphany on January 6
- a manifestation of a divine or supernatural being
- a moment when you suddenly feel that you understand, or suddenly become conscious of something
(Google online definition of Epiphany)
Our Church tradition has given the three royal visitors to Bethlehem names and assigned countries of origin to each – Balthasar, King of Arabia; Melchior, King of Persia; Caspar, King of India. Each brought a precious gift: gold, to signify this baby to be a king; frankincense, a perfume to honor this child; myrrh, an anointing oil to confirm he is one of us, God incarnate.
These visitors, were they Kings, Magi, or Astrologers, followed a star that led them to the place where the Holy Family found lodging and protection from the elements when there was “no room in the inn.” These travelers journeyed for days through the light of day and the darkness of night, taking breaks to rest along the way but always keeping their eye on the “star” that shone. If these visitors were important leaders in their countries, we can surmise they had traveling companions to assist them in their journey. In those days travel was by donkey, horse, camel or foot. Most of our stories and artwork tell us they traveled on camels.
Meister Eckhart’s wisdom for our pondering during this Christmas season gives us “food” for thought.
“You need not seek him here or there, for he is no further
than the door of your heart; there he stands patiently
awaiting whoever is ready to open up and let him in.”
Christmas celebrates the incarnation of God’s son to journey through this human life to show the way. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (Jn. 14:6)
- What do these words of Jesus invite us to discover?
- What is the invitation of this Christmas season?
- What “ah-ha” moments will be discovered by entering into the graces of epiphany moments in 2020?