Feast of the Epiphany - the Magi bearing gifts
The Gospel tells us that some wise men came from the East, following the star. It seems that their steps or their vision may have faltered, albeit momentarily, along the way. For we hear that they have stopped first, not at Bethlehem but Jerusalem.
In Jerusalem, they meet Herod. Like them, he is a king. Unlike them, he is closed to the idea of a Saviour who might challenge his power and might. Yet the Magi are committed to their search. Herod's obstinance will not hinder their journey.
The Gospel concludes, telling us that they returned home "a different way". Perhaps the route was different, determined as they may have been to avoid Herod and his mischief. Yet not just the path but also the pilgrims were "a different way". They had come to the manger as wise men bearing gifts; they leave the stable with gifts beyond measure, for that have seen God.
St John Chrysostem tells us: "If the Magi had come in search of an earthly King, they would have been disconcerted at finding that they had taken the trouble to come such a long way for nothing. Consequently they would have neither adored nor offered gifts. But since they sought a heavenly King, though they found in Him no signs of royal pre-eminence, yet, content with the testimony of the star alone, they adored: for they saw a man, and they acknowledged a God."
Masses take place in the Cathedral of Christ the King for the Feast of the Epiphany at 7.45am, 10am and 7pm. Mass will be celebrated in St Paul's Church at 12 noon.