“Home by Another Way”
There is a song by James Taylor entitled “Home By Another Way” that is a reflection on the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, which we celebrate today. The song looks at one aspect of the story of the Kings from the East often overlooked, which is the last verse of today’s Gospel: “And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.” (Matthew 2:12). The Magi had an encounter with Christ. They had an epiphany, an awakening, and having found the one who was the fulfillment of all their desires, they had no choice but to change. They could not go home the same way as they came, because they were not the same men as they were when they came.
If you look into the teachings of Pope Francis you will find a frequent theme being changed by an encounter with Christ, as he once tweeted “Each encounter with Jesus changes our life.” In this spirit, the Holy Father once suggested a good prayer for us to pray is: “Lord, when did I consciously find you? When did you tell me something that changed my life or invited me to take that step forward in life?”. The celebration of Epiphany tells us that there is one week left in the Liturgical season of Christmas. So as we have celebrated the event of our Lord’s birth among us, and as we begin a new calendar year, it’s good to ask ourselves “In what ways have I allowed the Lord to change me this year?” Or, “How has meeting the Lord sent me ‘Home by Another Way’?”
Merry Christmas, Fr. Casey