We Three Kings of Orient Are…

The Magi — Junio Alvarado, as King Melchior, Donal Friedman as King Gaspar, and Marcus Luna as King Balthasar — participate in the 32nd annual Three Kings Day Parade in New York Jan. 6.
The Magi — Junio Alvarado, as King Melchior, Donal Friedman as King Gaspar, and Marcus Luna as King Balthasar — participate in the 32nd annual Three Kings Day Parade in New York Jan. 6. (photo: CNS)

Today’s feast of the Epiphany in Rome and elsewhere (the U.S. moved the feast to last Sunday) recalls the visit of the three Magi to the infant Jesus.

Which raises the questions: Just who were these Wise Men from the East, and what was the significance of their visit and of the gifts they brought?

Sandra Miesel tackles these questions in this post at the Ingatius Insight Scoop blog. And while I can’t promise her article will provoke any epiphanies, it’s certainly an informative and worthwhile feast-day read.

“These foreigners, the first Gentiles to see the Light, recognize what Herod and the Temple priesthood cannot: the newborn Savior,” Miesel says. “The wealthy, learned, alien Magi of St. Matthew’s Gospel complement the poor, ignorant, local shepherds of St. Luke’s Gospel. Foreshadowing the universality of the Church, these Gentiles and Jews worship God Incarnate to show that salvation is offered to all men.”

— Tom McFeely