Star of Wonder
Kings, wise men, magi...whether there were three or more, they're a fascinating study. These probably Persian scholars, astronomers and Zoroastrian priests seem like an anomaly beside the pious Jewish shepherds at the stable. They're shrouded in mystery, and we know about them as much from Isaiah as from the Gospels. I've always loved these three men, who followed an astronomical event with so much faith in the workings of the universe. "Where is he who is born king of the Jews? We have seen his star in the East, and are come to adore him." Who knows precisely what motivated these men and brought them all the long way to Judea? Their original purpose is almost irrelevant in light of the great gift they received that day in Bethlehem: the gift of faith. They did not hesitate when the light of the star led them to the humble dwelling place of the carpenter and his wife. They did not stop to reconsider the joy with which they had sought him. When others later would ask "Is this not the carpenter's son?" or "Did anything good ever come from Nazareth?" these first Gentile converts instantly knelt to adore. For "the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord." Graced by the Holy Spirit, these men went away changed and made new in the brightness of the Eternal Light of the Daystar Himself. We're not often given a great shining star to point us directly to Christ. Some days we complain that He doesn't just tell us directly what He wants of us, or doesn't show Himself in the midst of our pain. Stop and think, though. Do we really need a star, when we have Mary? Do we need an epiphany when we have the greatest manifestation of all in the Holy Eucharist? Let us turn to the Magi and beg them to lead us to the King of Kings. Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar, help us to place our humble gifts beside yours at the feet of the babe in the arms of His Mother.