Prayer of the Day
Feast of the EpiphanyJanuary 6th, 2014
Matthew is the only evangelist who gives us an account of the Magi. Through this little story of the visit of the Magi we learn that Jesus is now being revealed to the Gentiles. Some presume that the Magi were Persians who belonged to a caste of sages of the Zoroastrian religion. This caste interpreted dreams and were involved with astrology and magic. Some old manuscripts name them as Caspar, Balthasar and Melchior. They brought Jesus gifts of gold (signifying the kingship of Jesus), frankincense (signifying his divinity) and myrrh (signifying the suffering he would have to undergo). They were guided by a star prophesied by Balaam in the Book of Numbers (24:17). The star led them to Jerusalem but they needed the help of the Jewish Scriptures to find the actual location of the child. Unfortunately the scribes who interpreted the Scriptures for them showed no interest in the child Jesus. After their encounter with Christ we are told that the Magi went home by a different route. This suggests a change of mind. It suggests to us that after every encounter with Christ in the sacraments we are meant to change our direction so as to become more and more conformed to him.