When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea, during the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem. They asked, «Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw the rising of his star in the east and have come to honor him». When Herod heard this he was greatly disturbed and with him all Jerusalem. He immediately called a meeting of all high-ranking priests and those who taught the people of God his Law, and asked them where the Messiah was to be born. In the town of Bethlehem in Judea, they told him, for this is what the prophet wrote: «And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are by no means the least among the clans of Judah, for from you will come a leader, the one who is to shepherd my people Israel».Then Herod secretly called the wise men and asked them the precise time the star appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem with the instruction, «Go and get precise information about the child. As soon as you have found him, report to me, so that I too may go and honor him».After the meeting with the king, they set out. The star that they had seen in the East went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. The wise men were overjoyed on seeing the star again. They went into the house and when they saw the child with Mary his mother, they knelt and worshiped him. They opened their bags and offered him their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh. In a dream they were warned not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their home country by another way.
The Gospel today reminds me of an experience in Homonhon, Guiuan, Eastern Samar when we attended the assembly in Couples for Christ. Homonhon is somehow a big island with eight barangays quite far from each other. To get there, people have to walk, get on a pump boat, and wait for a truck that comes only once in the morning and once in the afternoon. It strikes me how they travel so far just to gather and come before the Lord.
The same is true with our life - we travel. Life is a journey of different cultures, attitudes, and folks. Like the wise men who traveled from the east, so do we travel away sinfulness that keeps us apart from God. But the Lord does not look at our sinfulness. Instead, He shows us His great love by leading us to the path He prepared for us the same way He led the wise men who came to meet Him personally following only the light that is Jesus.
The Lord is inviting us to travel following His light no matter what the world dictates. This is the light that would lead us and others to the fulfillment of life and to break free from sin by meeting Him everyday - in personal prayer, Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, and in a support group like Couples for Christ. Repentance and forgiveness through the Sacrament of Confession are our gifts to Him like the gold, frankincense, and myrrh offered by the wise men which reminds us that He is King, He is God, and He is our Salvation.