On this Feast of Epiphany, first let us attend to words from Saint Bernard of Clairvaux:
What are you doing, O Magi? Do you adore a little Babe, in a wretched hovel, wrapped in miserable rags? Can this Child be truly God? … Are you become foolish, O Wise Men … Yes, these Wise Men have become fools that they may be wise.
The following is excerpted from a homily by Rev. John Forman (a pastor in the Episcopal Tradition), delivered in 2015:
The feast of Epiphany becomes a celebration of the life-journeys of every person who has found God because God found them first. God, the goal of every spiritual quest—the ocean to which all the rivers of yearning run. Every yearning for salvation, for healing, for justice or mercy. Every yearning for wisdom, for love, for forgiveness. These are yearnings planted in the heart by God who leads all kinds and types of people from a multitude of perspectives, languages and traditions.
When the magi came and knelt down, Karl Rahner writes, “they only did what they had in reality always been doing, what they were already doing during their search and journey: they brought before the invisible face of God now made visible the gold of their love, the incense of their reverence and the myrrh of their suffering.”
Maybe that is why we like to think of them as kings…Maybe we recognize the majesty of anyone who has poured out their whole heart for a star that has caught their souls. Who has come from some distant place and been granted a new heart—a royal heart—and an adventurous new path home. …Their story is like so many of ours—stories of maturing through challenges. …And the star still shines. We have started a new year and the star still shines. The star shines in all our skies, through all our darknesses. The paths set before us take us through lush jungles or parched deserts, frantic cities or untouched wildernesses. The star shines to stir all hearts to action. If you consent to follow, the star may seem far away. Persevere. Your path may be a long one, but you are never alone.