They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
This weekend we celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord and our readings come from Matthew's gospel. We hear the account of the magi from the east, their encounter with King Herod, the gifts for Jesus and their escape from Herod. Why is this account important? People usually come to see a newborn and the family. But when royalty is born, people want to see the baby but never does royalty come to see another family's child. Yet here in the story this weekend, traditions hold that three magi, or kings from the east, come to see this lowly child born in anonymity in a barn. We hear of the ruling king, Herod the Great, being threatened by this newborn. He must have thought, "what kind of authority prompts this kind of attention, and makes strange stars appear in the sky?" The world was given an epiphany; and the magi and Herod affirmed it. The magi saw the child and knew it must be a divine royalty. What does Epiphany mean? Epiphany is an immediate understanding or discovery of something that is usually great or emotionally moving to the persons making the discovery. The magi saw and immediately knew that this child Jesus was divine. Matthew tells us that they immediately fell prostrate and paid him homage.
When you have a spiritually awakening, when you truly discover that Jesus loves you, that God has total control over everything, it's an epiphany for you. You might get weak, cry for joy as your heart is overcome with a love that is difficult to describe or contain. Unfortunately it doesn't last. But as Christians we are called to recognize Jesus in our daily encounters with one another; to recognize him at the breaking of the bread, to give Jesus the solemn and profound respect he is owed in his presence. Remember, when the magi, who were not even of the same faith, saw Jesus, the immediately fell to the ground in honor and worship. We should always remember to do the same. May we, like the magi, show the love and respect for our Lord at all times in our lives.