The Magi were said to be wise men. They are sometimes said to be kings. They are sometimes thought of as men of power and prestige who come from the East to worship and offer treasure at the foot of a child.
The Magi did not compete – one did not think his own treasure to be more valuable, more fitting, or better than the gifts of the others. The value of their gifts did not make them arrogant or proud. They did not find the treasure in their own possession to be of greater worth than the new-found treasure that had once been lying in a manger.
In mutual comradeship, with mutual humility, they surrendered their own treasures – each as it had been awarded to them by God – at the feet of a child. They sacrificed their great power by kneeling at the feet of a child and they dedicated their fortunes, their gifts, their prestige, their honor – they offered all that they were and all that they had – in service to a child.
Epiphany means a manifestation of a divine being, but it also simply means an inspired understanding. Epiphany is that “Aha moment” when we see clearly who God is and who we are; when we see in the clearest terms what God means to us.
What if the “Epiphany” was not that these Magi found a God-man as a boy, but that they found themselves? They discovered who they truly were and what they truly possessed in relation to that boy and the only response was to kneel and offer all that they had and all that they were.
May we all have that Epiphany this day!