God is present outside and inside

The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home

January 7, 2024 – The Epiphany of the Lord, Matthew 2:1-12

Download this simple process to Prepare for Sunday using the Observe, Judge, Act Method.


Two ways of how God communicates are present in today’s gospel. Let’s start this reflection by rereading the first words in the Bible that describe creation. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That more of less covers everything. It tells us that God is present, if we know where to look. Our search is basically in two places: the Universe around us and our intelligence within us. Outside and inside. The outside includes everything that we “see” when we look upwards toward the whole of the created cosmos. And inside, when we turn our gaze within by examining our consciousness, thoughts, feelings and imagination.

In today’s gospel we meet the “magi.” They are the scientists of their day. They found meaning in the night sky where they could view not only the moon, but most of our solar system’s planets, and, of course, the stars. More than thousands of them. They knew their usual location and if something new appears, they especially noticed that. What exactly they saw, we don’t know, but they saw enough to get them to leave the familiarity of their homeland and find their way to Jesus. In other words, they found meaning and direction in creation itself.

And when danger came their way, they became very sensitive to the movement and images within themselves. The gospel calls this dreaming. After finding Jesus, they learned that there was danger lying in the place they were accustomed to travelling. So, they went another way. They were safe.

I find this gospel remarkably informative about being attentive to the many ways God communicates with us. We are extremely fortunate to live in a time of great discovery of what’s there around us in the Universe. The magi could likely see about a thousand stars. With scientific instruments today, especially now with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), we can see billions of stars. We can see more of God’s creation than ever before.  Here’s something to ponder. Why did God, the creator of the vast Universe, come to be present in an infant? How does our new knowledge of creation help us to know God?

And search for God within too. Seek to see the presence of God in our expanding knowledge of ourselves, our world, and the incredible universe in which we live and have our being. How does God “appear” (the meaning of the world, epiphany) in our wondrous time?


David M. Thomas, PhD    

Contact Us Give online Register - Renew