Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea,
in the time of King Herod the Great.
Now, behold, the Magi from the East
arrived in Jerusalem
“Where is the King of the Jews who has just been born?
We saw his star in the east
and we came to prostrate ourselves before him. »
Hearing this, King Herod was shocked,
and all Jerusalem with him.
He brings together all the high priests and the scribes of the people,
to ask them where Christ was to be born.
They answered him:
“In Bethlehem in Judea,
for this is what is written by the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
you are certainly not the last
among the chief towns of Judah,
for out of you will come a leader,
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel. »
So Herod summoned the Magi in secret
to make them specify on what date the star had appeared;
then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying to them:
“Go and find out exactly about the child.
And when you find it, come tell me
so that I too can bow down to him. »
After hearing the king, they left.
And behold the star they had seen in the east
until it comes to rest above the place
where the child was.
When they saw the star,
they rejoiced with very great joy.
They entered the house,
they saw the child with Mary his mother;
and, falling at his feet,
they worshiped him.
They opened their boxes,
and offered him their gifts:
gold, frankincense and myrrh.
But, warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they returned to their country by another route.
Meditation Pastor Corinne Charriau
In antiquity, the births of great people could be signaled by new stars. So this new star which appears sets off the Magi to go and prostrate themselves before the King of the Jews. The Magi were scientists, they studied the celestial vault and their language was that of the stars.
What could be more natural for them than to set sail for Jerusalem, the capital, to find the newly born king of the Jews! However, there is already a king: Herod! The latter was not afraid to kill those who wanted to attack his power. Thus, King Herod’s disorder is to be taken very seriously, he wants to eliminate the child. Moreover, the city is also troubled because everyone knows what Herod is capable of to keep his power.
Herod will try to manipulate the Magi to find out where the child is. He plots and brings them “in secret” so that the people, who eagerly await the Messiah, do not know that he wants to attack this child! His attempt will fail because the Magi, after having met the little child, will not return to Herod, they will leave by another way, writes Matthew.
These Magi are pagan, non-Jewish scholars. They observed the sky and, with the tools that were theirs, this observation led them to Jesus. Herod did not leave his Palace despite the prophecies of the Scriptures quoted to him by the high priests and the scribes.
As for the Magi, they also heard God’s warning. So, to avoid Herod, they set out again by another route. Since the beginning of this story, the Magi have set out and allowed themselves to be touched to the point of coming to meet this child, to the point of hearing God. Let us set out to encounter Christ, to open ourselves to his presence. It is in this encounter that with Him we will be able to discern where God is calling us, and dare to take other paths, promises of life.
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“We have come from the East to adore the king” (Mt 2, 1-12) | RCF
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