The Bible is filled with the idea that our God is a great communicator that He both talks and listens to people.  The second half of this thought is easy for us to accept.  We as Catholics have no difficulty believing that God hears what people say.  But the first part of our thought is more complex.  If God talks to us, then when, how, and to whom does He do it? 

A few times in the Bible, it is specifically stated or strongly implied that God spoke with an audible voice.  But that is the exception, not the rule.  Most of the time, it is simply stated that God communicated His message, without any explanation as to how He did it.  We all Know that God spoke to and through the apostles and prophets.   But exactly how He did it remains a mystery. 

But today, the Feast of the Epiphany, the Gospel tells us about some other people with whom God communicated and gives us some insight as to how He did it.  We call these people, “The Three Wise Men.” We know that they were from outside of the nation of Israel.  They did not belong to that great tradition of Hebrew prophets through whom God has spoken for centuries.  Yet God spoke to them, suggesting that He can and does speak to all people. 

You see, God spoke to the Wise Men first through a star, and that reminds us that God speaks to all people through nature.  We are surrounded by His message, and it is so obvious that we frequently overlook it.  St Paul saw this truth and wrote about it in his letter to the Romans, “Ever since the creation of the world, His eternal power and duty has been clearly perceived in the things that He has made.”

Day after day you and I live and move in the midst of an eternal steadiness.  It is all so constant that we take it for granted, and this is part of our problem.  We tend to think of God in terms of the spectacular and miss Him just because He is so steady and so near.  You and I make a mistake if we wait for God to rain fire from heaven or speak with a thundering voice from the top of a mountain.  He could do either but seldom, if ever, does.  Most of the time He is just there, providing our daily needs through the quiet, unruffled miracles of nature.  God speaks to us in the natural order of the material universe. 

But most of all God spoke to the Wise Men through his Son.  No doubt the child that they found looked like most any other baby.  There is something mysteriously divine about every life, but there was something special about Mary’s child.  At His birth the Wise Men called Him “the newborn king of the Jews.”  When He died, an inscription was nailed to His cross that read “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”  He was that, but He was so much more.  The last book of the Bible calls Him “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

Many things are temporal.  They belong to one place and to one period of time.  And there are some other things that, by their very nature, belong to all people everywhere. 

Jesus is one of these.  He lived and died in one little country in one brief period of history.  But the life that He lived, the truth that He taught, the death that He died, and the victory that He accomplished belong to all of the ages and to all people of the world.  He was a strong and gentle man, who was born in a stable, worked as a carpenter, and for a few years preached, and taught and healed.  But most of all, He loved.  Nothing could stop Him from loving, not even a cross.  This, He assured us, is what God is like.  That man and that message belong to the world.  God has spoken and continues to speak to all people everywhere most of all in and through Jesus Christ, His Son. 

So will you hear Him in the natural order all around us and most of all in His Son throughout 2024.