We have come do to him homage

On the twelfth day of Christmas, we remember the wise men who came from the East to find the baby Jesus. They are magi – perhaps astronomers, astrologers or magicians. Their study of the stars has led them to seek out the infant King of the Jews. The chief priests and scribes of Israel are experts in the Scriptures, but their knowledge of the prophets doesn’t lead them to recognise the coming of the Christ, and they will oppose Jesus throughout his life. Herod, blinded by worldly ambition, sees the newborn King only as a threat to his own position. The wise men, in contrast, are pagans from a distant country, but they have recognised the sign, given by God, of the Saviour’s birth. When they find Jesus with Mary, they know that they have reached their goal. Jesus is the Saviour for all the nations. The wise men kneel down to worship him, and the revelation of God’s salvation to the whole world has begun. As we begin a new year, the feast of the Epiphany prompts us to ask what goals we are pursuing. Are our eyes, our hearts and our minds open to the signs that God is showing us, and are we ready to meet Christ and worship him?

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