Epiphany is the great reveal, that moment when Jesus is revealed as the light to the nations. Magi arrive at his manger and discover the God of Gods for whom they had been searching.

Dom Robert Hale

Dom Robert Hale

I love the Chronicle of Robert Hale, a Camaldolese monk. I am attracted to this contemplative expression of the Benedictine way even though I am by instinct a Franciscan. I have enjoyed his reflection this Epiphany. He speaks how the Magi had consistently to look up to the light in order to discover Jesus. He was not in the obvious place where one might seek a king, in this case Jerusalem. This was a city with a long tradition of honouring God yet latterly was compromised through Herod the Great, the Roman appointee as King of the Jews. Human appointments are never an appropriate replacement for a God appointee. The Magi, having consulted Herod, an indication of their station in life since they enjoyed access to so powerful a leader, were guided to Bethlehem, literally ‘House of Bread’. Here they discovered the true Bread of Life, source of perpetual nourishment.

Throughout their search they had to keep their eyes gazing heavenward, whilst negotiating the challenges of walking across a wilderness, a journey that probably took a minimum of twenty days given a camel’s pace of twenty five miles a day.

I am reminded that seeking Jesus requires that we keep our eyes focussed upon the light that is leading us, that we avoid distractions that promise much (such as Herod starsand his court) whilst expecting the discomfort arising from embarking on any journey where we’re required to leave the known and the comfortable in search of what we as yet do not know. Robert’s encouragement is for us all as he writes, “...today we need to muster up our Abrahamic faith and set out, not for the fortress cities of our own lives and time, but for our own Bethlehem, to be nourished by the Living Bread“.

So this is my reflection today, and I trust yours too, as we together set out into a fresh year. Opportunities and temptations there will be many yet I want to ensure I keep looking to the Light and discovering fresh nourishment from the Living Bread, revealed anew this Epiphany.

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