See Soulwork Toward Sunday: self-guided retreat
Epiphany Day, January 6, 2012
“mine and thine”
When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. -Matthew 2:9-11
Just as the shepherds represent my instinctual self, the magi represent my reason. I’m much stronger in reason than instinct.
I understand the Magi occupying themselves with maps and charts and esoteric scrolls and interpreting books and cyphers and symbols. Unlike the shepherds who saw the sky dissolve right over them, the magi prepared themselves like athletes for the moment of grace. It’s a wonder they ever looked up from their desks to catch the Star blazing from the heavens.
But they did. And they prepared for every hardship of the journey across deserts, mountains, and plains, for the occasional caravansary or watering site, for weakness, fatigue, boredom, and hardness of heart. It takes a wise person to know enough to go the distance, pace by pace, keeping perspective.
While I need to learn what the shepherds have to teach me about being present to the moment, I cultivate the friendship of the Magi, too, because their wisdom and poise can guide me through many an unlikely landscape toward my destination. I don’t need to wait for the sky to open in front of me. On any day, I can wake up and journey toward God.