THE COMING OF THE MAGI
What a strange story St Matthew tells us in his gospel: Magi (magicians or wise men?) following a star. How on earth do you follow a star? And how can a star stop over a particular house? If a star or meteor stopped right over Barbados, everyone in the island would say "it was just above my house". St Luke's account of Bethlehem and the child in the manger describes what happened, as he learnt from Jesus' mother Mary or her friends. St Matthew's story of the Magi was different, not so much concentrating on what happened as to offer us a symbolism to help us to understand the deeper meaning of Jesus' birth. That is why some elements in the story can seem rather strange, such as people following a star or the gifts they brought.
Gold is to remind us that he is our king (at least, if you want to accept him as your king). Incense is offered to God; in other words this baby, this tiny fragile baby, is Almighty God, Creator of the universe. Myrrh, which was used for embalming, was already indicating the importance of the death that this child was eventually to accept.
What stars or events have led us in the direction of Christ, even if we haven't arrived there yet?Perhaps a child or a word someone has said or something on the news or the beauty of a sunset when you're on holiday. Don't worry where it comes from, whether it is from God or from yourself; all that matters is where it is leading.
The story of the coming of the Magi is called the Epiphany of the Lord, meaning the revelation of the coming of Christ.By reflecting on the real meaning of the story we come to know Christ in our hearts and form a closer relationship with him.