The Epiphany of the Lord - Solemnity
“They prostrated themselves and did him homage.”
Brothers, let us follow the magi, let us leave our pagan customs. Let us depart! Let us make a long journey so as to see Christ. If the magi had not left and gone a long way from their country, they would not have seen Christ. Let us also leave earth’s interests. So long as they remained in their country, the magi saw only the star; but when they left their homeland, they saw the Sun of justice (Mal 3:20). Or rather, let us say: if they had not generously set out on their journey, they would not even have seen the star. Thus, let us also rise up, and even if everyone in Jerusalem is troubled, let us run to where the Child is…
“On entering the house, they found the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their coffers and presented him with gifts.” What motivated them to prostrate themselves before this child? There was nothing remarkable in the Virgin or in the house, no object that could have struck their eye and attracted them. And yet, not content with prostrating themselves, they opened their treasure, gifts that are not given to a human being but only to God – frankincense and myrrh symbolize divinity. What was their reason for acting in this way? The same as that which made them decide to leave their homeland, to depart on this long journey. It was the star, that is to say, the light with which God had filled their heart and which led them little by little to a more perfect knowledge. If there hadn’t been that light, how could they have given such homage when what they saw was so poor and humble? If there is not material grandeur but only a crib, a stable, a mother who is lacking in everything, it is so that you might see the magi’s wisdom more clearly, so that you understand that they came not to a human being but to a God, to their benefactor.
Saint John Chrysostom