The Magi’s path to the Child Jesus was not easy, and they could have turned back at any point.
It is not known with certainty where the Magi came from, but most historians narrow it down to either Persia, India, China, or possibly the Kingdom of Sheba, located in the Southern tip of the Arabian peninsula. Whatever the case may be, the Magi came from a distance and traveled to Jerusalem in hopes of reverencing the newborn King.
They could have easily turned back when the travel became difficult. Yet, they pressed on to a rather unknown city, to a poor family that did not live in a palace, but in a simple home. There were likely many obstacles to their journey along the way, but they remained constant in their determination to see the Christ Child.
Furthermore, their courage was put to the test after their visit to the Holy Family. Herod wanted them to report the location of the newborn child to him, but instead they departed by a different route, heeding the warning of an angel.
The road was likely easier for them to travel back to Herod, where they would have had to reveal what they had seen. Instead, the Magi went back to their country by “another way,” which probably added a few more days to their journey, making it much more inconvenient for them, and likely costing them more money to buy additional supplies.
The Magi may even have had to travel by night to avoid detection from Herod’s men. Herod was hellbent on finding the child and may have had spies along the usual paths to intercept the Magi.
Meditating on these possibilities, here is a brief prayer to God from The little book of the most holy child Jesus asking for courage like the Magi to search for Jesus and the truth no matter what obstacles may come our way.
Dear Jesus, I thank you.
Draw me by your light from all false lights of earth.
My Lord, I will come to you, for you have called me. Nothing shall hinder me; neither the fear of trouble, nor of being laughed at or sneered at by others.
Make me brave and constant like the holy Magi.
Mary, dear Mother, show me Jesus, as you did to them.
Most Holy Child Jesus, save us.