In the Path of the Magi
(Epiphany: Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:2-6; Matthew 2:1-12)
The best definition we found for the Epiphany is: “The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi” (Oxford Languages). In other words, their story is our story—as Christians and as La Salettes.
The Magi were guided by the light of a star, to him whom we call “Light from Light, true God from true God.” At La Salette Mary appears in light, but she is not the light. Like the star, she leads us to her Son, she manifests him to us in the dazzlingly bright crucifix she wears.
Isaiah tells Jerusalem, “Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.” while other peoples are covered with darkness and thick clouds. The Beautiful Lady speaks to just such a people, inviting them to turn to the light which is Christ.
We are modern-day Magi. Mary helps us as we seek Christ. She reminds us of the importance of Sunday worship, daily prayer, and Lenten discipline, that we may do him homage.
St. Paul dwelt in darkness until the day of his epiphany, his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. He writes to the Ephesians that this revelation was not only for him. but “for your benefit.” He had become a guiding light, and wanted the Christian community to be the same.
We who have accepted the gift of faith, should see it as given to us for the benefit of others. We can share it by our words, of course; but by our own example of faith, hope and charity, Christ our light can shine through us, dispelling the darkness and guiding others to him.
It is not expected, nor is it necessary, that each of us be a great star, visible from afar. Stars also have different colors. Scientists say this is because of their surface temperature, among other things. The ardor of our faith will vary from time to time.
Remember that the flame even of a tiny candle dispels the darkness, and the darkness can never overcome it. A gentle, comforting light can be as attractive as a brilliant sun.
La Salette is a light meant to be shared through our reconciling mission. What an epiphany we can be!
Fr. René Butler, M.S. and Wayne Vanasse