06 January 2016

Star of Wonder

On the first Christmas, Joseph and Mary and the Baby Jesus were visited not only by shepherds, but by three kings, who brought the baby gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Well, not quite. The visitors who brought these gifts are not present in Luke's gospel, which features the shepherds. The story of the visitors is from Matthew's gospel, and says, in fact, that the Holy Family were living in a house and most translations say Jesus was a child, not an infant. So it is probable that the visit took place later than the birth in the stable.

The visitors are never identified as kings, but as astrologers, men who study the stars for portends, also known as "magi," magicians. Nor are strictly three identified. No mention is made of how many magi visited, or whatever other gifts are given; only mentioned are the gold, frankincense, and myrrh (which, scholars tell us, are symbolic gifts: gold for godhood, frankincense for priesthood, myrrh, which was used on bodies of the dead, predicting His crucifixion), so tradition makes it three.

Epiphany 2016

Readings for Epiphany

Reflections for Epiphany

Epiphany at Cute Calendar

Reflections on Epiphany 2016

Three Kings Day

King Cake

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