Friday, December 23, 2011

The Journey of the Magi

The Journey of the Magi, a fragment of a picture with the Adoration of the Magi. Tempera on wood. Artist: Sassetta (1392–1450) Birth name: Stefano di Giovanni di Consolo da Cortona.

Date: c. 1432-1436. Current location: Metropolitan Museum.

This Image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1924, in this case c. 1432-1436, are now in the public domain.

This file is also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris in this case Sassetta (1392–1450) and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from December 31 of that year.


"Behold there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews}"—St. Matt. 2:1, 2.

The Perplexity Of The Wise Men.

The inner voice, confirmed by the guiding star, had led them far from home. They cared not whither it led, if it would but guide them to their King. They sacrificed friends, home, position, all to fulfil their vocation. God gives me guidance; He makes my duty clear, but I draw back.

Behold God honouring His Church. As they drew near to the Holy City He withdraws the light, for here the voice of the Church was to be heard. The chief priests and the scribes sat in Moses' seat; their voice was that of the living Church. God hushes the inner voice, and the glittering star no longer guides, to teach them to hear the Church.

Consider how they stood the test. With what simple humility do these strangers inquire: "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" Not for a moment do they doubt that the mysterious leading was true, even though now all signs fail. Nor for a moment do they doubt that the voice of the Church would answer them aright. Their faith is rewarded. They receive their reply; they follow the direction of the Church. They find the divine Child "with Mary His Mother." They are admitted into the presence of God; they enter into the Communion of Saints.

The interpreters of the divine oracles sent the Magi to humble little Bethlehem to find the King. They went with as much faith as though they had been conducted to the porphyry chamber of the imperial palace; and "the star which they saw in the East went before them till it came and stood over where the young child was. And when they saw the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."

They sought Him in the King's palace; they found Him in a peasant's stable. But they hesitated not. "They fell down and worshipped Him." They needed not the outward trappings of royalty to convince them that He was their King. They had been true to the inner light, and the witness of their hearts did not fail them now. My Lord keeps tryst with me in the humble places, in every lowly happening of my daily life. But only through faithfulness in ordinary things can I hear His voice, can I see His face.

TEXT CREDIT: The infant king: the mysteries of Christmas in meditation, Author: Shirley Carter Hughson. Publisher: Holy Cross Press, 1920. Original from the University of Virginia. Digitized: Dec 13, 2010, Length 91 pages. Subjects, Religion › Holidays › Christmas & Advent, Christmas Religion / Holidays / Christmas & Advent

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