- Posted by Lin Wilder
- On January 7, 2018
- 2 Comments
- a search for the sacred, blessing, catholicism, catholocism, christian, sacred, spiritual, writing
The wise men. Each year I think of them. These unnamed men who somehow journeyed to a manger in Bethlehem perhaps many thousands of miles from their homes. Where an infant lay amidst straw. Accompanied by, we are told, a number of animals. Maybe donkeys, a lamb or two, some cattle and shepherds.
In those days there were few countries that knew astrology well enough to use the heavens as a guide for a journey of close to 3000 miles. But in India there were magi who had the knowledge to make the trek. Inconceivable.
Tradition tells us there were three. But the sole source of the wise men narrative in the Gospel of Matthew does not tell us how many. Just that they were the wise men from the east.
Who were these men?
What impelled them to set off on a journey that must have taken many months?
- We know who they were not.
They were not God’s chosen people. They were not from Abraham or the root of Jesse, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The people with whom God had made an everlasting covenant. They were not Jews.
- They were the forerunners of leaders of nations…of Gentiles. They were the beginning of the new covenant. One that includes all nations, all peoples- :There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
- St. Paul writes of what must have driven those long ago travelers: Faith.
- Before faith came, we were held in custody under law, confined for the faith that was to be revealed. Consequently, the law was our disciplinarian for Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian. For through faith you are all children of God* in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise.
Today is Epiphany Sunday. The celebration that connotes events that are marked by history: the birth of Jesus, the long journey of the wise men and the Baptism of the Christ and ends the Christmas season of the Christian liturgy. No longer is our journey geographical, instead it is inward. Nor is it a one time search but rather day to day, even, at times, moment to moment.