At times, listening to some people talking, we may hear a person say:
“It’s all a question of planning”.
True, much in life depends on the plans we make to achieve our goals.
Strangely enough, this thought came to me as I reflected on the texts of this Feast of the Epiphany.
There are many plans mentioned in today’s gospel reading (Matthew 2:1-12).
We see three Magi, yes, Wise Men, planning for a long journey.
Their plan, in fact, is to find a new-born king – so they believe.
We meet a devious ruler, himself a king, having his own plans about a potential new-born rival.
Their quest having been rewarded, the three Wise Men make a new plan for the return journey.
But this summary has left out one more plan of the utmost importance: the plan of God!
While everyone speaks in terms of kingship, God speaks another language.
In the gospel text, we are told:
“You, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”
A shepherd, this is the one who has come to us from God – God himself.
This is what God wants to be for us: someone who watches over us, someone who cares.
Long before his birth, the description of this shepherd had been made by the prophet Isaiah (40:11):
“He tends his flock like a shepherd:
he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.”
Perhaps, at the beginning of this new year, this is something we need to learn:
to be shown the way,
to be led and…
to be carried when needs be!
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-lepiphanie-annee-c-2022/