The magi knelt and honored the child Jesus, acknowledging that he was greater than they. In Jesus’ baptism God bestows both love and also an assignment. When we renew our baptismal vows we submit our will to God as our “higher power,” and re-commit ourselves to carry out our calling: to live with love in this world.
The story of the magi and their faithful pilgrimage is also the story of Herod and the fearful resistance of Empire against the grace of God. It’s not pretty, but we need to hear it to get the Good News.
Advent calls us to repent in preparation for Christ’s coming: not to hide our faults so we’re accepted, but to change our hearts so we shine with God’s light, so we become the people we’re created to be and bear the fruits of love.