Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, which also marks the end of the Christmas season. Much of this time is marked by a reflection on the magi who come from the East to adore the baby Jesus. This is what Pope Benedict had to say in an address here:
The wise men followed the star. Through the language of creation, they discovered the God of history. To be sure – the language of creation alone is not enough. Only God’s word, which we encounter in sacred Scripture, was able to mark out their path definitively. Creation and Scripture, reason and faith, must come together, so as to lead us forward to the living God. There has been much discussion over what kind of star it was that the wise men were following. Some suggest a planetary constellation, or a supernova, that is to say one of those stars that is initially quite weak, in which an inner explosion releases a brilliant light for a certain time, or a comet, etc. This debate we may leave to the experts. The great star, the true supernova that leads us on, is Christ himself. He is as it were the explosion of God’s love, which causes the great white light of his heart to shine upon the world. And we may add: the wise men from the East, who feature in today’s Gospel, like all the saints, have themselves gradually become constellations of God that mark out the path. In all these people, being touched by God’s word has, as it were, released an explosion of light, through which God’s radiance shines upon our world and shows us the path. The saints are stars of God, by whom we let ourselves be led to him for whom our whole being longs.
There are 2 important points about creation that are worth fleshing out.
1. Through the language of creation it is possible to find God. In nature itself, its laws and telos, we can come to recognize God, to ask the question and find Him. But..
2. The language of creation is not enough. To encounter the living God, to come to the fulness of divinity, creation falls short. It is only with God’s own assistance, through his Revelation, that we can “definitively”, like the magi, to the knowledge of God.