The Epiphany of the Lord

01-08-2023Weekly Reflection©LPi

A friend of mine is a young priest who teaches high school physics at a Catholic boys’ prep school. Like many today, the boys often think science and religion are enemies. So, he delights in their raised eyebrows when he reminds them his first full-time job as a priest was to be an astrophysicist. He cataloged the size, shape, and matter of distant stars. He tells them, “Science gave me more love for God, not less.” 

The Magi were something like scientist-astronomers. Like today’s scientists, they employed disciplined methods of discovering dependable patterns in the world. Their rigorous commitment to the truth led them to the joy of discovering Jesus. Their love for knowledge leads them to worship the Source of all knowledge. Luke says of them, “They were overjoyed at seeing the star.” 

We may see the universe as cold and empty and feel sad. But why should we do that? The Magi, like my priest-friend, show us there is another way to experience the world. We use our intelligence to discover the beautiful patterns in the world — in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology, neuroscience, and so on — and allow this to lead us to greater love for God. So, my fellow Magi: the world needs us to be overjoyed at finding God in science and, finally and fully, in Jesus.

— Father John Muir