Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Adoration of the Magi – Epiphany, Part I

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on January 3, 2009

Greetings!: This is a continuation of an Advent reflection as seen from the eyes of the Mother of the Redeemer, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Please refer to the first post in this series: INTRODUCTION if you are a first time reader.

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Note: In this as in other great mysteries of the Blessed Virgin’s life which she herself described to the mystics, quotations from her own words are printed in italics.

[Biblical Passages will follow in BOLD black print when they apply.]

Chapter 16: Adoration of the Magi

The Mother of God knew by supernatural enlightenment that, on the night of the Nativity, an angel had been sent to announce the birth of the Saviour of mankind to the three Magi Kings of the East, and she also knew that they would soon come to adore the Infant Jesus in the stable… Yet when St. Joseph suggested that they move to a more comfortable dwelling in Bethlehem, Mary simply answered…:

“My husband and master, wherever you wish to go, I will go with great pleasure.”

Just then the holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel appeared to them both and said:

“Divine Providence has ordained that three kings of this world shall come from the East in search of the King of Heaven, and shall adore the Word Incarnate in this very place.  They are already ten days on the way and will shortly arrive.”

Joseph and Mary therefore set about preparing the grotto for the visit of the Kings…

The three Kings, whose names (according to tradition) were Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior, ruled over now Iraq and Iran. Gaspar of Mesopotamia, the younger was light brown in appearance, Balthasar of Parthia was dark brown, while Melchior of Media, the oldest, was rather stout and had an olive-colored complexion. All three were unusually just and honorable men who were also great scholars and students of religion. Through their knowledge of the Old Testament prophecies and of certain traditions of their own peoples, they believed in the coming of the Savior of mankind.

Though each received this revelation separately…The three awoke at the same hour of the night, filled with extraordinary joy, and prostrating themselves on the ground they humbly thanked and worshiped Almighty God… they decided to leave immediately for the land of Israel [so] they prepared gifts and procured the necessary camels, provisions, and servant their journey… As each King set out that evening, he suddenly perceived a beautiful mystic star…

The star guided the three Magi in such a way that within a few days they came together…after conferring about their revelations, [they] became still more inflamed with devotion for the newborn King, and they now pursued their trip together, always under the guidance of the star, which they could see as clearly during the day as at night.

The journey across the deserts, mountains, and rivers of Chaldea and Syria took nearly a month, despite the fact that the camels and horses were unusually fleet footed… At last, after crossing the river Jordan, they arrived before the walls of Jerusalem, which, because it was the capital of Israel, they thought [this would be] the logical birthplace of the new born King of the Jews.  [Yet] they…observed no signs of rejoicing among the people… as they approached the great city, the star faded from their sight.

At the city gate they questioned some of the guards, saying: “Where is the newly born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and have come to worship Him.” ~Mt. 2:1

But to their astonishment, the guards and other Jews indicated that they knew nothing about the birth of a new King of Israel. Then at the request of the Magi, messengers were sent to arrange an interview with King Herod in his palace.

Herod…agreed to see the Kings the following morning, [so] the caravan camped for the night in a large courtyard. But the Magi could not sleep. Instead they wandered through the city with guides, and studied the sky as though they were looking for the star.

…Herod too was so deeply troubled that he not sleep, and during the night he summoned the high priests and doctors of the Law to meet with him. And he inquired of them where the Christ [Child] was to be born. Unrolling scriptures and pointing to a passage in the Book of Micheas they said to him:

“In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written through the prophet…”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'” Mt 2:3-6

Becoming still more disturbed and fearful for his throne Herod thereupon resolved to have the Infant King secretly put to death… Meanwhile the scholars urged him to pay no attention fantastic stories of the Eastern rulers, for they insisted if the Messiah had indeed been born, the fact would a be known both in the Temple and in the Palace…

He therefore received the Magi, in secret, at dawn the following morning in a large hall in which refreshments and bouquets of flowers had been prepared for his guests…[Herod] entered, accompanied by several doctors of the Law, and proceeded to question the Wise Men closely concerning the time when the star had first appeared to them and concerning all that they knew about the Infant King.

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; ~Mt 2:7

…Gaspar described the vision which they had had of a Virgin and a royal Child whom the of the earth adored, because His kingdom was greater all the kingdoms in the world… [Herod then told] them about the prophecy referring to Bethlehem…[and] hypocritically pretended that he too wished to adore the Infant King, and said to the Magi:

“Go and make careful inquiry concerning the Child, and when you have found Him, bring me word, that I too may worship Him.”

…and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the Child, and when you have found Him bring me word, that I too may come and worship Him.” ~Mt 2:8

Leaving the King very ill at ease, and without taking any his refreshments, the Magi set out with their caravan for Bethlehem…

When they had heard the king they went their way; ~Mt 2:9a

Soon after they had passed out of the city gate, they again perceived the star and burst into cries of joy and happy songs.  Then they camped for a while and said some prayers, and all of a sudden a spring of clear, fresh water gushed out of the ground before their eyes. Taking this as a good omen, they built a small pool and let their animals have their fill…

…and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them… they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; ~Mt 2:9b,10

When they arrived in the City of David toward evening…They were directed to the Valley of the Shepherds as a suitable place for the caravan to camp overnight. After their servants had put up a large tent and…begun to unpack, the three Kings suddenly perceived the star shining with extraordinary brightness over a near-by hill. Then a beam of fiery light descended from the star onto the grotto…

…till it came to rest over the place where the Child was. Mt 2:9c

…and in this ray the Magi saw a vision of the Child. Reverently taking off their headdress, they slowly walked over to the hill and found the entrance to the stable. Gaspar pushed the door open and caught sight of the Mother of God sitting with the Infant Jesus at the far end of the cave… Both Mother and Child were just as the Kings had seen them in the vision a month before.

…and going into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother… Mt 2:11a

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Previous Posts:

Anne & Joachim
Nativity (Birth) of Mary
Infancy of Mary
Presentation/Service to the Temple
* Part I
* Part II
In The Temple
The Espousals
Preparation for the Annunciation
* Part I
* Part II
* Part III
The Annunciation

The Visitation
Trials in Nazareth
Journey to Bethlehem
Birth of Jesus
Adoration of the Shepherds
Circumcision of Jesus
*Part I
*Part II
Epiphany
*Part I

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