The event of the Epiphany, especially as it is captured in today’s Gospel, doesn’t seem to grow old, with enduring appeal even as we age.
Part of that may be because it’s both a dramatic action of the past and a living aspiration for the present.
As God did for the Magi, God continues to provide light, manifestations and radiance for us. And for those on the lookout for such things, it’s the great adventure of the spiritual life. Because we know once we have seen the light, we can also become the light. For the Christian, seeing the light always has an action component.
It’s no accident that a star is a key part of the action in the Gospel today. The sky is always fascinating, but only when we give it our full attention. (And not when we are driving, of course.) There’s almost a full moon out tonight, how many of us know that? Mars and Jupiter are easily visible these nights, how many of us know that? And there’s more interesting and subtle things going on every single night.
Even if you’re not an amateur astronomer, if you’re not all that interested in developing your spiritual life, it’s still in our interest to take this Epiphany event to heart. At several points in our lives, including and inescapably near the end, our lives become a night sky. We need guidance, we need light, we need a star. Knowing how to look deeply into the spiritual sky may mean the difference between despair or hope, peace or turmoil, light or darkness.