Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle B

Epiphany

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 Matthew 2:1-12

"Some wise men came to Jerusalem"

Today we sing a familiar hymn about ‘three kings’. Their journey ‘from afar’ captures our imagination as we picture them in their fine robes and royal retinue. With courage and tenacity they have followed the light God provided for them, not giving up their long and arduous search until they have found the one they have been looking for. Jesus has come, not for some fixed elitist group, but for everyone, and these foreigners have reached him.

Part of the attraction of these wise men must surely be that their journey to Christ speaks to us of our own faith journey. We, too, are searching for God. We, too, try to follow as best we can the light God has granted us, the light of our own faith. The magi provide for us a valuable lesson in the way they remained focused on that guiding light provided by God, and that they did not become discouraged in their search, even when the light of the star seemed to disappear for a while. Their perseverance, bringing them eventually into the very presence of Christ, is a source of encouragement to us.

Having then learned of Herod's wicked intentions, they “returned to their own country by a different way”. In the Bible a change of path symbolises personal conversion. Their having found Jesus has transformed their lives. It is not only their route that is changed; they are now changed. Here too, their story speaks to us: if our own meeting with Christ is to transform our lives we too may be challenged to change our ways.