Come To Foreigners Like Magi Watching From Afar
Reflection by: Bridget H.
Come to foreigners like Magi watching from afar. Who are these ‘foreigners’ that are being referenced? That was my first question after reading this phrase. The foreigners must be the outsiders, those from far away places. Taken literally, they are those foreign, or unfamiliar to us. If the foreigners are those who are unknown to us, it becomes evident that the ‘foreigners,’ therefore, are not just people who have a different country of origin. They are anyone different from us, anyone other than us. Knowing this, I began to think about the foreigners in my own life. We ask Jesus to “Come to foreigners like Magi watching from afar,” so to whom are we really asking to Him to go? To then follow in Christ’s example, who are the foreigners that I should reach out to? And how?
In this Advent season, we cry Maranatha: Come, O Lord! We long for Christ. We yearn for His coming, for His entry into our world. However, we cannot simply cry for Him to come, we must also seek Him. Relationships work in two ways and we have to realize that we must seek Christ in the same way He seeks us. We do this by finding Him in Creation, in the ‘foreigners.’
I recognize my call to look for Christ in others. This task is not daunting when we look for God in those we love and care for, but how easily do we find him in those who annoy us, or those who make our lives more difficult?
The Magi, watching from afar, not only watched, but they came. They did not know what they were doing, or what to expect, yet they somehow had faith in their journey and in the King who they came to pay homage. They came from foreign lands, so Jesus was a foreigner to them. They sought Him anyway and they recognized His majesty and holiness. We must reach out to the unknown in the same way.
Before I came to St. Mary’s, I never thought about the ways in which God works through others in our lives. It is very clear that He is present in those around me, even in those who seem foreign. After realizing that He is present in everyone around me, I began to look for Him more. I looked in my close friends, my co-workers, my teachers, those similar to me and those different from me. In some, I found God. In others I did not, but He is there, regardless of whether or not I could see it. It is a challenge to seek God in this way, because many times I am obstructed by my negative feelings about a person or by my own judgments or even just by fear of the unknown. I challenge myself daily to reach out to a ‘foreigner’ and to truly recognize Christ within them, rather than simply giving in to fear or to apathy.
As I await the coming of Christ, I will strive to be proactive and come to foreigners, just like the Magi watching from afar. Christ does the same and I know that in this way, we will meet not only in this Advent season, but beyond that in all seasons to come.
Bridget H. is a Junior Sociology major, a member of the Marianist Leadership Program, and a Residence Assistant.