A few days ago, a large section of the Christian world celebrated the feast of Epiphany, also known as Three Kings’ Day or simply, Epiphany! The all too familiar feast is a commemoration of the visit of the Magi, the three Wise Men, to the Child Jesus and ostensibly a celebration of the manifestation of Christ particularly to the gentiles symbolized by the Magi!
The Magi have become some sort of Christian folk-heroes just as Epiphany has become a generally joyous festival and an important event in the nativity celebrations of Christmas!
However, all thanks to the New Knowledge mediated by the promised “Spirit of Truth”, mankind is beginning to look beyond the gifts, the astrological prowess and pomp of the three kings! Discerning mankind is beginning to look at what one would call the sober side of Epiphany without taking anything away from the sanctity of the ordained mission of the Magi!
Now to the sober side of Epiphany:
As a fulfillment of Divine prophesies and greetings from the Father, the Star of Bethlehem stood radiantly above a stable where Jesus, the Son of God, was born and trailed the Child for days after!
Three Kings from faraway lands followed the cosmic Herald! After a detour to King Herod’s Palace, they eventually reached the Subject of their longing; the foot of their mission: they found the Holy Child ! As Mathew narrates:
“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts.”
Further down, Mathew concludes that: “having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route “
“Having Been Warned”…..this should have been a flaming red flag for the Magi! Let us see why…
Kings prepared by the Light and provided with the necessary guidance, wealth and influence to protect the Child from an occupying Roman authority and a manipulative Priesthood; to protect the Child from earthly limitations and want, only worshipped, presented gifts and left! They returned to their country: Of what use were gold, incense and myrrh against Herod’s wrath which they had inadvertently stoked?
The magi also failed themselves…Three souls, carefully chosen and incarnated at the right time and in the right place for a special mission: Kaspar (or, Caspar), Balthasar and Melchior were to stand like disciples; as radiant ethereal swords warding off dark currents and impure volitions from the growing Child until He, who was a Stranger in these parts, could gain a ‘foothold’ in matter! Alas, they only worshipped, presented some gifts and returned to their home country…..indeed, returned to a loathsome cycle of heavy Karmic burden for failing so woefully!
Most pathetic was the case of Kaspar who was said to be the oldest of the three and should have provided the necessary guidance by virtue of his mature age. Also, and most importantly, he stood to gain immensely and perhaps the most from Epiphany because it was a decisive opportunity for him to redeem an crushing Karmic responsibility from a previous failure in Arabic sands years and years ago!
For Kaspar, turning back to his country was symbolically a return to damnation and spiritual death…but for the intervention of the Love of the Most High!
Epiphany should therefore rather invoke deep sober reflections than exultation! It should be a special opportunity to watch and pray for the recognition and fulfillment of our individual as well as collective life missions and destiny!
May we find the Way upwards to the Light!