Jesus is worthy to receive the worship of every nation on earth. If those coming to worship him ask us where he is, do we know what directions to give them?
Not rarely do we hear people say that many today are lost, and so need clear directions. Such a saying comes from those who show concern for the future of humanity. Some of them, however, seem to be rather self-righteous. And others show a longing for a supposedly glorious past.
But it is not really about the number of those who are without direction in life. Nor is it about the motives of those who show concern. It is a question rather of whether we are ready or not to help those who may ask us for directions.
And there will always be people looking for directions, since God addresses even those who do not look for him (Is. 65, 1). He will, then, probably do to us what he did to Philip (Acts 8, 26-40). That is to say, he will send us to give directions to truth seekers.
What does it mean for Christians to give directions?
Far be it from us, of course, to do as Herod. The king did not mean to give directions to strangers whose question he found troubling. He himself wanted to find the newborn king to get rid of him. What he would do to get his way was anybody’s guess. But all Jerusalem was troubled, too, fearing he might take his insecurity and wrath on them.
The priests and scribes did right when they looked up the Hebrew Scriptures. Christians should also look for directions in Sacred Scriptures. Gospel teaching is very important (CRCM II). For one thing, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” Are not those who know him in a much better position to give directions? Moreover, we can be guardians of true teaching and right worship only if we keep them and reflect on them in our hearts.
But to know, keep and reflect is not enough. For Christians to give directions also implies going with those who ask for them. This means we will go out of our way, leaving our books, setting aside prayers and meditations even. We ourselves will, then, become light to those who need it, to those who are in the darkness of ignorance. In this way also, those with whom we go will feel more strongly that we want them as co-heirs, with whom we want to break bread. Will they be surprised to find that Jesus is not in a palace and that there is really nothing magical about him?
Lord Jesus, may we become true givers of directions to those who are lost. When we have our final and personal epiphany of you, grant that we hear, “This is the one who helped us find you” (SV.EN IX:200).
6 January 2019
Epiphany of the Lord
Is 60, 1-6; Eph 3, 2-3a. 5-6; Mt 2, 1-12