By Rev. Michael P. Orsi, CNS News, January 5, 2022
A priest of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, Rev. Michael P. Orsi currently serves as parochial vicar at St. Agnes Parish in Naples, Florida. He is host of “Action for Life TV,” a weekly cable television series devoted to pro-life issues, and his writings appear in numerous publications and online journals. His TV show episodes can be viewed online here.
“We three kings of orient are Bearing gifts, we traverse afar.”
Traditions associated with Epiphany come readily to mind the week after Christmas. But, for the most part, they’re just that: traditions.
The Bible is silent on whether those famous “kings” actually bore any kind of aristocratic rank. It doesn’t even say there were three.
Mostly we refer to them as “wise men.” And we take that to mean they were astrologers — probably Zoroastrians from Persia — since it was the appearance of a new star (or possibly a comet) that captured their interest, and set them on their journey.
Such keen observers of the heavenly bodies were held in high regard. Celestial displays were considered signs of godly activity and portents of developments on earth.
Accordingly, King Herod received the travelers from afar at his palace, honoring their dignity as scholars, and probing for what they might know about events to come. His interest was decidedly unspiritual. He was worried about rumors of a “new-born king,” a potential challenger to his dynastic rule. ….