When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.” Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
St. Daniel was considered one of the great Prophets and a wise man (or magi) Himself by King Nebuchadnezzar – a King of Babylon. When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile, Daniel remained in Babylon and formed a school there to create other “wise men” in the Jewish Faith – the very same pedigree of “wise men” who would later recognize the signs in the stars and the Scriptures that a King was to be born in Bethlehem within their lifetimes. It’s why they traveled for months to Israel and it’s the same Christmas story that planetariums around the world tell every Christmas Season. While the wise men at Jesus’ Nativity didn’t know fully what to expect, they were very much Transformed by the experience of meeting the King of kings and the Lord of lords – Emmanuel…God with us in the flesh… As they were Transfigured by this experience with Jesus and the Holy Family, they left “by another way”. While it’s obvious that they knew (after the Nativity experience) that they should not return to King Herod to tell him where he could find the Newborn Baby Jesus, there is a deeper meaning to their experience. None of them would ever be the same just like none of us who accepts Jesus in our hearts will ever be the same. Oh, even after meeting Jesus personally, we all have some of the same characteristics, traits, and habits, but Truly-meeting Jesus means that we, too, will leave that experience “by another way” – by His Way that is marked with Truth and Life. So, let’s be sure to leave our own Spiritual Nativities along with the ways of this world for the Ways of His World “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind[s].” (Romans 12:2)