Only the Gospel of Matthew mentioned the wise men who came to Jerusalem from the east in search of the infant Jesus. Although there is actually no mention that there were three of them, the three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, they brought to Him led to the widespread assumption that there were three. The Syriac Churches often number them twelve! The wise men, are often referred to as Magi, or Kings. The journey of the Magi to Bethlehem is also a journey of conversion. The true God has come to us, and it now revealed to the unbelieving world (hence “epiphany”. i.e. the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles). Before the Magi set out on their journey to Bethlehem they were star-readers. After the encounter they went on an interior journey from reading stars to worshipping Jesus as Saviour.
The Magi’s old way of ‘reading the stars’ remind us of those who look to astrology as a guide to their life. Believing that the stars control our lives contradicts believing that the Divine Mind/Word thought the universe into being, and hence is in control. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states;
“Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate power. They contradict the honour, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.” (para 2116)
The wise men journeyed from that kind of life to worshipping Jesus as the Saviour.
Our fate is not written the stars: our life is a mystery that is intertwined with the Creator of the universe the creator of the stars. If we truly want to know what our lives are about, we must start to acknowledge the true God, and then follow his guiding light.
The Magi’ journey of conversion must be our journey of conversion.
God bless Fr Michael