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At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’
Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.’
Jesus said: … many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it.
In not that many days’ time Christians will recall and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ: the moment when, in the simplest of circumstances, God came down from heaven and entered into the totality of the human condition. Twelve days later we will focus on the visit of the wise men from far away.
In Matthew’s account of the Epiphany we will witness those travellers making a fundamental error, one that almost aligned them with the prophets and kings of whom Jesus speaks. Rather than following the star directly to the true place of Incarnation, a humble stable, they followed their human wisdom and went first to Herod’s palace, exactly the sort of place where a king should be born!
Throughout the last two thousand years there have been many who have responded to God’s call. But … many of those faith journeys have faltered because human wisdom and intelligence led the faithful down the wrong path. Those who considered themselves to know ‘best’ found themselves journeying through an impenetrable fog of self-delusion and sin. In contrast, those who have found the humility to abandon self, and to trust in God alone, have come to know the inexpressible joy of entering into the intimacy of a profound relationship with their heavenly Father and his divine Son.
Jesus is always with us, holding out his hand, directing us towards his Heavenly Father. Let us pray that we might set our ‘certainty’ to one side, take Our Lord’s hand and follow where we are led. Let us pray for all who are tempted to believe their own wisdom and intelligence are superior to those of God, those who are truly foolish, blind and deaf … and doomed to never see the wonders prepared for them.