Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Advent 25 : The Magi

The kingdom of heaven comes close to the Magi, and by repenting – by changing their mind – they step into the present presence of God’s future.

The Magi go on a journey, a journey that takes them some two years of planning and execution, that leads them a long way from where they began (and back again, by a different route). They are led by a star, almost to Bethlehem. Before they can arrive, they must go on the slightest of detours, to prophetically declare to Herod and his people that his days as king are numbered...Then, having found the child and his mother, they are led away by an angel on a wider detour – one that would have had to take them a long way out of their way - to avoid the murderous king. Stars and angels: sat nav, first-century style.

But God knows the way through the wilderness: for Joseph, Mary and Jesus, fleeing south through the Negev as political refugees, to the Jewish Diaspora community in Egypt; for the Magi, avoiding any road on which they might be seen, their movement reported. This moment, this moment when a caravan of dignitaries exits stage left under cover of darkness, buying time for escape, is a moment that God can step into in order to bring light into the world.

The Magi repent, and step forward into the unknown with God.

[Today’s Antiphon is O Emmanuel]

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