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Nine Lessons for Christmas


5.     The Visit of the Magi

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A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew.


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.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 MT 2:7-12



Lesson 5


The magi’s reverent actions demonstrate that Jesus is worthy of praise.


These Old Testament texts lead to the interpretation of the magi as kings:


 “May the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute, the kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts.”  -Psalm 72:10


“Long may he live, receiving gold from Sheba, prayed for without cease, blessed day by day.  -Psalm 72:15


“Caravans of camels shall cover you, dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;

  All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and heralding the praises of the LORD.”  -Isaiah 60:6 




Eternal God, this joyful day is radiant with the brilliance of your one true light.  May that light illuminate our hearts and shine in our words and deeds. May the hope, the peace, the joy, and the love represented by the birth in Bethlehem fill our lives and become part of all that we say and do. May we share the divine life of your son Jesus Christ, even as he humbled himself to share our humanity.