I spent some time praying this weekend and reflecting on the Magi's pilgrimage to see the Christ child. After all, it was Epiphany this Sunday.
In his homily, Father pointed out the line from Matthew 2:12, "they departed for their country by another way." He made it clear that after an encounter with Christ, the Magi were changed and followed a different path because of it.
I reflect back on my own encounters with Christ and marvel at how my paths were changed as well. As a child, I wasn't aware of these changes, like most innocents. He was just there. A faith fostered by some wonderful holy people in my life.
Later, as a teen and young adult, despite not actively practicing my faith, He was there every time there was a fork in the road. I don't know if the road forked as much as an alternative appeared because I had faith that God would take care of every situation for me.
I would love to give everyone the impression I was this pious and prayerful young lady. Fortunately, God took care of me even though I wasn't prone to either of those dispositions. As the saying goes, fools and children, right? Also, fortunately, the faith of my childhood was so engrained in me it was simply second nature to believe God would take care of the big decisions and ensure I made the right choices.
Honestly, I had come to almost approach my faith as a bit of a good luck talisman. Shame on me.
Now in middle age, I prayerfully consider all those times God held me in his hands, despite my pride and arrogance, and wonder at how He laced his love through the threads of my existence. I think of how changed I am now that I seek encounters with Him rather than just knowing He will make things work out for me. I am grateful to be on a different road than any I contemplated traveling. I feel a bit like a Magi-in-training. While it isn't always comfortable, I know it will yield sweet fruit in the long run.
This image is from the public domain and appeared in an article from Aleteia.