Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Matthew 2:1-12 Epiphany of our Lord: The Visitation of the Magi

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod, 
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled, 
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, 
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, 
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”

Then Herod called the magi secretly 
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said, 
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word, 
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, 
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures 
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, 
they departed for their country by another way.

In this passage we are reminded of Jesus' divine kingship. Here Matthew has crafted the birth narrative to high light Jesus' Davidic heritage  Instead of poor shepherd, he is venerated by wise men from the East and given gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Little is known about these wise men. Tradition names them Balthazar, Melchoir, and Caspar. Above the Church of the Nativity, is a mosaic depicting the three wise men. According to tradition, the reason the Church of the Nativity was spared from destruction by the Persians is because they recognized the wise men as being their ancestors.  

No comments:

Post a Comment