Notwithstanding all their difficulties, notwithstanding the unbelievable troubles of their days, they had sufficient faith in God and humanity to pack up immediately and follow it. It was not the star itself that caused them to follow it. It was not its beckoning tail - come, come, come‑ hat made them follow it. It was their faith in the possibilities of a New World, a new humanity that made them follow.
During an interview for a special Christmas feature, theologian Dorothy Solle was asked: “What does faith mean to you?" She answered: “It means that you believe that the Kingdom of God is possible. It means that you are confident that this world can be changed in the direction of that Kingdom. It means that you are convinced that it is not a dream, an illusion or a figment of an overexcited religious or ethical mind.”
“That belief, or that faith," she added, “should be so firm and so strong that you are willing to work in order to help it grow, that you are ready to cooperate in its growth, and that you don't sit down waiting for God to clear the situation."
It is that kind of faith that must have been the moving force when those wise people packed their luggage, kissed their wives and children good‑bye, and, facing the unbelief and ridicule of their friends, set off on a journey with a destination both known and unknown at the same time.
Even to us so many years later, notwithstanding our belief, faith, and hope, that destination remains unknown. And yet we know. There are hints where it all will lead us. There are indications, signals, and signs.
In the second reading of today, Paul gives us such a hint when he writes about a mystery, a secret he was given knowledge of. A mystery, a secret, he writes, unknown and hidden to anyone in generations past.
The mystery is that all human beings share in the same inheritance. The secret is that we all live under the same promise. The mystery is that in Jesus of Nazareth we are all parts of the same being, the same body. We are one. We belong together. We are created in him. We should strive toward the realisation and a further awareness of that fact. That was the reason those wise men (were there only three?) packed up and travelled toward him, and toward themselves.