Epiphany: Encountering a Toddler King

The paintings of the Epiphany are beautiful and awe-inspiring. Most all show the three kings adoring the newborn infant Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem.

Adoration of the Magi, Gentile da Fabriano

But the Scriptures tell us the shepherds who were told they would “find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).

The Annunciation to the Shepherds,
Nicolaes Berchem

It was the Magi, on the other hand, who “entered the house and found the Child with Mary, his mother” (Matt 2:11).

Madonna and Child with St. Anne (detail), Caravaggio

If King Herod in his murderous, jealous rage ordered every male child two years old and under to be massacred then we know the Christ Child was born closer to the end of that time frame. (Matt 2:16-28).

Massacre of the Innocents, Peter Paul Rubens

St. Joseph would have moved the Holy Family out of the stable and into a suitable dwelling after the crowds had left after the census and taken up his craft of carpentry work.

Holy Family
Bartolome Esteban Murillo

How delightful it must have been for these learned wise men to knock on the door of the house and be greeted by Mother and Child;

Madona di Loreto

to encounter a young Child King standing on the knee of His Mother — a King before whom they prostrated and worshipped.

And to receive His blessing as they departed.

Virgin Mary with Child Jesus 1914 engraving by Popular Arts

Today, on this great feast of Epiphany, let us pray for the wisdom, the generosity, and the fidelity of the Magi.

Published by catholicpowerhouse

Faithful to Christ, His Church, and His Vicar

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