"I just had an epiphany!" Erica excitedly said. Then she began to share her story about how, years ago, things aligned in her life to lead her on a new career path. As she filled in the details for us I waited for the big news. Eventually, I couldn't wait any longer so I said, "Tell us about your epiphany."
You can probably guess this week's Gospel.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel." Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage." After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way. Matthew 2:1-12
The magi traveled a great distance to "do him homage." Once they found the newborn king of the Jews they joyously prostrated themselves to pay Jesus homage. It is important to note that these important men actually entered into Jesus' presence and lay face down on the floor in front of a child! This was a sign of complete submission.
Jesus' Epiphany, God's revelation in human form, caused the magi to drop what they were doing and travel to a distant land to offer gifts to a child. Perhaps most importantly, they offered themselves in an incredibly humble manner.
When is the last time you saw someone lay face down in a public show of reverence to another? I can't think of an example either. That is why I was so intrigued by Erica's declaration that she had had an epiphany. I knew she was using the word to describe a revelation from God. The look of amazement on her face was beautiful. She was actually struggling to put into words what she was feeling. I imagine the magi feeling the same way.
Like the magi, Erica is seeking the "newborn king of the Jews." She wants to know God's will for her life. That desire is all God wants from us. He has placed that desire in all of us. I might suggest that you get down on your face and seek Jesus in your heart. He is already there waiting to meet you in your very own epiphany.