The Four Gifts of the Magi

Epiphany (C):  Matthew 2:1-12

The Magi.  The Three Kings. The Wise Men.

These strange visitors, with their exotic dress and lavish gifts, bring a splash of color and a hint of mystery to any Nativity scene. They stand out among the shepherds and animals who are around the Baby Jesus, along with Mary and Joseph. Who are they? Why are they here? Why do they bring the gifts they have brought?

We are not alone in our curiosity. From very early times, Christians have written about the Magi. They were eventually called kings, and given names.  Various interpretations were given of the significance of the gifts they brought the Christ Child, and of the star they followed to find Him.  Some Biblical scholars dismiss this story as without any historical basis, and the gifts of the Magi as without any significance. They forget, however, that all Scripture is interconnected, like a great web, and that Christ is the ultimate interpreter of it all.  Continue reading “The Four Gifts of the Magi”

Trusting In The Word

Epiphany (B) – Matthew 2:1-12

Heather, a woman who had been searching for something to believe in for years, feels drawn at last to the Catholic faith. She becomes part of the RCIA process at the local parish. Having had little religious background or education, everything she sees and learns is new and exciting to her. Everything seems to  confirm for her that God has indeed led her there. Her interest and excitement are easily seen by other parishioners. Some find it an inspiration and a challenge to their own life of faith. Others shrug it off with a bemused, “knowing” smile. “She’s new and naïve”, they say among themselves. “She’ll learn someday.” Continue reading “Trusting In The Word”

Waiting On God

Feast of the Epiphany

On Christmas, we heard the story of the birth of Jesus according to Luke. Bethlehem, we are told, was crowded at the time, like Bar Harbor in the summer. The visitors weren’t tourists (as we understand the term) but people who were descendants of David, there to register for the census. We can imagine the locals complaining about the folks “from away” (even as they appreciate the business), while the visitors may be complaining among themselves about the quality of their rooms or the meals or the service.  Continue reading “Waiting On God”