January 2, 2014: A New Year’s Celebration in Faith

~by Susi Pittman

What a beautiful set up in Faith celebration! We acknowledge Mary, Mother of Jesus, God in the Second Person. Even Sacred Scripture states that Mary’s son was to be called the Son of God, thus according to her the title Mother of God, Our Lady’s greatest title.

The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; and therefore the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God…But Mary said, ”Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:35 & 38)

Mary was always referred to in Sacred Scriptures as the Mother of Jesus, never as Joseph’s wife and to whom only one child, a first born, was subscribed. In Jewish custom the title, first born, was only applied to a family with an only child.

And then we have the Magi who appear in Sacred Scripture leading the world to the Christ Child, the new born King!

But what about those wise men, these Magi, were they real, who were they and were they kings?

Let’s put to rest the question, were they real? Yes, they were. They were real! First of all in the Book of Matthew in the New Testament, Matthew 2: 1-12, tells the story of the Magi’s visit to Bethlehem. Also, early Byzantine mosaics depicted such as far back in recorded history as 614 A.D. where the Church of the Nativity was first recorded as having a magnificent mosaic of these wise men.

Who were they? It would appear that there were three Magi, due to the fact that there were three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. If there were anymore wise men or kings, it would have been unthinkable that they would have arrived without a gift for this new born king. The Church’s Tradition dating back to the 7th Century A.D. gives the name Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar to these men. In some accounts it was estimated that there were at least 1,000 people in the entourage along with donkeys, camels and farm animals. It was a long journey from the East of which they came to Bethlehem and required much in supplies. It has been posited that Caspar, depicted with the white hair was from Arabia, Melchior, the younger man was from Asia and Balthazar, our black Magi was from Ethiopia.

Were they kings? They were not kings. They were however, magi who were priests, serving an ancient priesthood, astrologers, interpreters of dreams, and government officials who had the authority to elect the Parthian king. In the context of the times, because they served these roles and had such amazing knowledge of mysteries as these, they were considered to be the scholars of the day.

In a book titled, The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Monsignore Romuald Gentilucci, dated 1856, it is said by Saint Bernard, that Mary had a long conversation with the Magi on the mystery of the Incarnate Word, the graces of God and of attaining true perfection.

Wouldn’t that seem so right!

The awesome and mysterious moments associated with the birth of Jesus can only lead us in faith to draw close to that which is Holy. Our Creator God and Father, through Sacred Scriptures gives to us the key to eternal happiness as He shares Himself through Jesus, Son of Mary, the Savior King that the Magi came to adore.

Messiah to all the world.

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Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; an advocate for the Florida Catholic Conference; a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Council of Women in Jacksonville, Florida; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine;a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.
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