Reading: Matthew 2: 9-12
The Magi and the religious leaders in Luke 2 are an interesting contrast. The religious leaders are steeped in the stories of the prophets, in their own long history with God, and in the prophecies of the much-awaited Messiah. The Jewish people told their stories over and over again so that all knew the faith. The Magi notice a new star and somehow connect it to a story they heard long ago. God helps them begin to connect the dots and they head off on a two year journey to find the answer.
The Magi’s and religious leaders’ paths cross. Herod brings them together in a meeting that could have been most fatal to his reign. The Magi provide a thread of a prophecy they heard long ago and the religious leaders quickly rattle off the connecting prophecy from Micah. The leaders knew the stories well. It amazes me that the appearance of the Magi did not set off bells and whistles for the religious leaders. It astounds me that the story of the Magi following a star for two years to this time and place did not draw their attention. The religious leaders rattle off the prophecy and quickly head back to whatever they were doing.
It amazes and astounds me until I realize how much we today are like this story. In the Bible, we too have the stories that we read and tell over and over. In the Word, we clearly understand the call of Jesus upon our lives and how He calls us to live out our faith in the world. We know the stories well. But too often we rattle off phrased like “love your neighbor” then walk away from the one in need so that we can get back to what we were doing. Too often we miss what God has placed before us. Oh that we were more like the Magi – attuned to the holy mystery, pursuing that which God has placed before us, being faithful to the end of the journey. May this be the faith we both profess and practice.