Gospel Reflections

Feast of Epiphany

Matthew 2:1-12

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Victorine Mansanga

Published: January 07, 2018

Read Matthew 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,“Where is the... Read More…

Today’s Gospel recounts the story of the three magi coming from the Orient looking for the king of the Jews who had just been born.  “Where is the King of the Jews who has been born?  We have seen his star in the East and we have come to adore him.”

Guided by the star, the magi left on their way to seek the King of the Jews and prostrate themselves before him.  At Jerusalem, the disappearance of the star troubled them and led them to the palace of Herod believing that the king would be born in a large city.  Nevertheless, the question of the magi shook Herod and all his entourage.  Following their planned route, the magi were happy to again find the star which would lead them to Jesus. Despite their astonishment at finding the king of the universe in a small village lying in a manger, they prostrated without hesitation to adore him and presented him with gifts worthy of a king in acknowledgement of his title and his kingdom. Happy to have accomplished their mission, they returned home by another way according the message they received in a dream. This time they were guided, not by the star, but by the Lord who had been revealed to them by the voice of the angel. 

In contrast to the magi who sought the king of the Jews to adore, Herod sought the king to kill him since he represented a danger to his power. It is this same attitude which is flaunted by some of this world’s leaders who hold a piece of authority. How many people have lost their work or their life in this world as a result of powerful and unjust leadership? When a leader feels threatened in his power, he distances himself from all those who represent a danger to his authority.  Like Herod who had the innocents massacred to assure that the king of the Jews was dead, such leaders of the world may become criminals so as to preserve their place of power and assure their authority. 

Like the Magi, we, too, are called to seek God by following the star which represents for us the light which illuminates our journey of faith.  Let us arise and fix our eyes on this light which leads us to God.  The road ahead is surely long, dangerous and full of obstacles, but as long as we have our eyes toward the light, we will overcome the obstacles.  Also, like the Magi, when we experience moments of darkness or worry when we feel lost, let us be enlightened by the word of God and draw the strength to continue our journey.  Like the magi, we too are invited to return by another way.   If God told the Magi to return home by another route it was because there was a danger for the child. Every meeting with God requires a change of route.  What road are we called to abandon in our own life? What is the danger which lurks on the route which we are following?  If the Lord asked the magi to return home by another route it was because there was danger for the child.  Every encounter with the Lord requires a change of plan. What route are we called to abandon in our own life? What is the danger which threatens us on the road we are traveling? What is God calling us to today?  All these questions will help us in reflecting on the new direction of our life. However, we can only become aware of this new orientation through our connection to the Lord Jesus.

Am I ready to follow the star which leads us toward the king of the universe?...to meet Christ whom we may find in the poor and oppressed who wait in our streets, in the poor who knock at our door or in those who await our help in their homes, in migrants and those displaced by war caused by the violence of world leaders who seek to hold onto their power?  Am I ready… ?  It is up to each of us to continue the reflection and to find our own response.         


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