12. The Magi arrive in Jerusalem

12. The Magi arrive in Jerusalem

“After Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea during the reign of King Herod, wise men traveled from the east and arrived in Jerusalem, inquiring, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw the rising of his star, and we have come to pay him homage.” (Matthew 2:1-2)

Meditation: The Sense of Worship

“In the Gospel (Matthew 2:1-12), we heard the Magi begin by stating the reason why they have come: “We have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him” (v. 2). Worship is the end and goal of their journey. Indeed, when they arrived in Bethlehem, “they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him” (v. 11). Once we lose the sense of worship, we lose our direction in the Christian life, which is a journey towards the Lord, not towards ourselves. The Gospel warns us about this risk, for alongside the Magi it presents others who are incapable of worship.”

“First of all, there is King Herod, who uses the word worship, but only to deceive. He asks the Magi to tell him where the child is to be found, “so that I too may come and adore him” (v. 8). The fact is that Herod worshiped only himself; that is why he wanted to rid himself of the child through a lie. What does this teach us? That when we do not worship God, we end up worshiping ourselves. In addition to Herod, other people in the Gospel are incapable of worship: they are the chief priests and the scribes. They tell Herod with great precision where the Messiah is to be born: in Bethlehem of Judea (cf. v. 5). They know the prophecies and can quote them exactly. They know where to go – they are great theologians, great! – but they do not go there.”

“Here too we can draw a lesson. In the Christian life, it is not enough to be knowledgeable: unless we step out of ourselves, unless we encounter others and worship, we cannot know God.” (Pope Francis, 6 January 2020)

Back to the menu

See the full image:

Royal Windsor Stained Glass Works / The Arrival of the Magi / c. 1890 / St Edward’s, Windsor

One thought on “12. The Magi arrive in Jerusalem

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s