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A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 2:1-12

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.

REFLECTION: "They prostrated themselves and did him homage."

Tradition tells us that their names were Caspar, Melchior and Balthassar. They were astrologers, called by God, set out to find Jesus and adore Him. The three kings represented the whole world from Tharsis from Arabia and Saba (Psalm 72). When the kings saw the star stop over the house, they were filled with joy. Here was the Christ, the Savior, the Messiah.

Quite a contrast from the worldly King Herod; Jesus came in humility. It was the faith of the wise men who immediately knew they were seeing the Messiah. But it took effort on their part. They had to leave their homes, ask for assistance, follow their astrological findings and seek out the Joy and Peace that was promised. Here was Jesus crossing the paths of many people, and some saw Him as a mere child, others saw Him as competition, and some saw Him as the Messiah.

Why were the Magi able to see Him as the Messiah, while others did not or could not? Why were the Magi willing to travel long distances and through many obstacles and others who lived just down the road could not see the Lord for who He was, hidden in humanity? The wise men were thirsty for the Lord and were willing to give up all to seek Jesus and when found gave Him gifts befitting a King. The Kings left to go back home and spread the news of the birth of the Messiah. Jesus, in turn, would leave us the Gift of Himself in the form of His body and blood, His soul and divinity in the Eucharist.

Our priests bring us Jesus on a daily basis; they make Jesus present to us. We can see Jesus face to face in the Eucharist. Let us draw near to the throne of God, asking for mercy and grace, giving Him our gifts and treasures. Spread the good news of Jesus to all we meet.

Thanking and Praising God

PAPA Foundation
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