The following is a reflection on Matthew 2:1–12, the Gospel lesson appointed for the Second Sunday after Christmas, according to the Revised Common Lectionary.
Sometimes the truth comes from the most unlikely of places. King Herod was a wicked, wicked man. He was guilty of the most despicable of crimes against humanity.
And yet, his directive to the magi was spot on.
Go and search diligently for the child.
Was better advice ever given?
It could be the words of angels, or prophets, or sages. It could be the advice of the magi upon their return from the Christ-child.
A little ray of light bursting forth from the darkness.
I think that they are words spoken for us. To us.
We are to search diligently for the child. It’s our life’s work.
Where do we find him?
Sometimes within us. Sometimes the search for God takes us no further than closing the eyes and the stilling the mind. We were created in God’s Image, and God’s Holy Breathe is within us. In our home. In our family. In our most beloved. In the joy and in the excruciating pain of life’s experiences.
Sometimes outside of us. In the face of another, who is also created in the image of God. In serving those who are in need. In the sick, the dying, the distressed, the depressed, the hungry, and the lost. In the Holy Scriptures, the Body and the Blood of the Holy Eucharist, the assembled Body of Christ in worship.
We search diligently in the most remarkable of places, and in the most ordinary of places. In the cathedral and in the checkout counter. In the shrine and in the cinema. In the washing of the feet, and in the washing of the dishes.
God is all around us. Within us. Above us, as our shield. Beside us, as our friend. Beneath us, as our rock and foundation.
God is where We begin our journey, where we end our journey, and along the entire route of the path we take.
But, if we aren’t diligent, if we aren’t searching or looking, we will miss Christ at every turn, at every glance inward, and in every gaze towards the horizon.
Go and search diligently for the child. It’s good advice, from the most unlikely of sources.