Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle A

The Epiphany of the Lord

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MATTHEW 2.1-12

"Some wise men came from the east”

Following the light of the star, these wise men had journeyed from a foreign country in search of the new-born king of the Jews. They studied, they searched and they questioned, eager to find the child and to do him homage. Their journey was a journey of faith, a humble, searching faith that led to action. Their wisdom was a wisdom that reached to the heart. Pagan foreigners they might be, but they faithfully followed what light they had and risked everything in their effort to find and worship the child. Their journey brought them to him who is the light of the whole world.

Their questioning brought them to Herod and so to another group of wise men, Herod's experts - the priests and the scribes. What a contrast! They knew the answer, for they enjoyed the light of the Scriptures - "The Christ was to be born in Bethlehem in Judaea". But their wisdom went no further; their hearts did not follow their heads. They knew where the Christ was to be born, but felt no compulsion to go and see. Their religion was one of talking, not of walking. They gave lip service and head service, but had no heart for the risk of maybe finding the Messiah and being changed by him.

Today's Feast challenges us to choose between these two types of wise men – those whose faith remains in the head and those whose faith reaches into the heart, those who play safe and those who take the risk, those who talk knowledgeably about Christ and those who come humbly to pay him homage, those who are content with the answers they already know and those still searching for the place of Christ in their lives. Faith that does not touch the heart and lead to action goes nowhere.

So, where am I in this story?