Herod and the Magi

The Epiphany story is about a search and a discovery. Having the intention of paying homage to the newborn king of the Jews, the Magi went off on their search, but what they discovered was something quite unexpected. From all accounts, they never expected to find a baby lying in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes. On the other hand, the Epiphany story is also a story about defiance and treachery. When King Herod heard of the newborn king of the Jews, he was greatly troubled and sought to kill the infant child. Here, we see two very different points of view on the birth of our Lord.

There are two things in the Epiphany story which prefigures later events in Matthew’s Gospel. First is the manner in which Herod and all of Jerusalem welcomed the news of the newborn king of the Jews: they were greatly troubled. Later on, when the adult Jesus went about preaching the Good News of salvation, there were many who did not welcome Him; in Jerusalem, He was opposed, arrested, falsely accused and put to death. Secondly, the Magi went looking for someone with the title of “the king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2). Later on, that very same title reappeared on the Cross, when Pilate had a sign made that said: “Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37). For the Magi, the title “king of the Jews” was revealed to them by the heavens; for Pilate, the same title was the charge used against Jesus by the chief priests and the Sanhedrin. At His birth and at His death, Jesus was referred to as the “king of the Jews” by gentiles.

We are like the Magi when we are inspired to go deeper into the truths of our faith and to marvel at the greatness of God. On the other hand, we are like Herod when we defy God, and when we refuse to believe and to put our trust in Him. Even in the manner in which we pray, we can either be like the Magi, who find something unexpected; or we can be like Herod, who is defiant and wants to have his own way.

When we pray, we must have faith: I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties so I can become strong. I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve. I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome. I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help. My prayers were answered.

We wish to thank all those who participated in the baby bottle drive for the Obria Medical Clinics. Our total donation was $185.69. Your donation will help pregnant mothers to choose life for their unborn children. God bless you!

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be ministered today by Fr. Bill in the chapel after the morning Mass. This sacrament is intended for persons whose health is seriously impaired by illness or old age.

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