The story of the Magi's pilgrimage to Bethlehem has always inspired questions. Not so much because of what the story tells us but because of what it leaves out. The result is a great deal of scholarly speculation as to who they really were and where they came from.
One thing that is certain is that they were part of a much larger scenario. The Church's ancient Tradition as embodied in the manger display clearly illustrates this. We have the focal point, Jesus. We have the most honoured participants, Joseph and Mary. We have The Star and we have animals, angels and shepherds and finally we have visitors from afar and their gifts which include some of natures most precious gifts: gold, incense and precious ointment.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds, people from foreign lands, animals, the star, nature's bounty. Put them all together and we have CREATION! Creation and its creator. This is the scenario in which our three royal friends have an integral part to play.
Precisely who they were, where they came from and where they went, while important for them, is only of passing historical interest to us. They played their part and they are gone.
They are gone but we are still here. We too have a place in this global scenario and if we are to find that place we must know the answers to three questions. "Who am I?" "Where am I coming from?" and, of course, "Where am I going?"
The answers to these questions are to be found in that project of love and grace written in my heart and in my life by The Holy Spirit at the time of my Baptism. Note well that it is a project which I am free to accept or reject. But should I choose to accept it, the way is then open for me to offer my personal and irreplaceable contribution to the progress of humanity. This is an ongoing, lifelong process with many a bump and wrong turn along the way but once I say to God: "I am at your service."...the Holy Spirit will guide me to both ask the right questions and to respond with courage in the light of the priceless discovery that each one of us has his or her own place in The Sacred Heart and in the history of humanity.
This we refer to as vocation. The Spirit calls us, invites us to come to the manger and take our rightful place in that historic scene which embraces all of creation and its God.