When they arrived at Jerusalem, they found Herod, who did not know what they were talking about. The star disappeared, and the priests replied coldly to the questions they asked. But all the time their trust in the divine call continued to grow. Eventually they reached a poor barn, where they found not an earthly King, but a little child who was crying on the straw bed of a manger. As a reward for their trouble and perseverance, a voice in their hearts told them that this was Jesus, the King of Kings and Saviour of the world.
Unfortunately, when we hear the divine call, no matter how clear and simple it is, we find a thousand excuses for delaying and perhaps for not responding to it at all. Let us humbly promise to be more generous in listening for it and more energetic in complying with it, regardless of the cost.
2. It was love which inspired the Magi. Love sustained them on their journey and made them fall prostrate in adoration before the Infant Jesus. Even before they offered Him material gifts they offered Him their hearts. As a reward for their faith and charity, God showered His graces upon them and an immense supernatural joy pervaded their souls. In that moment of adoration they received the highest possible reward for their hardships and perseverance. With deep interior joy they gave Jesus their hearts and never withdrew them. A pious tradition maintains that they became apostles and saints, and in fact the church venerates them as such. We should follow the example of the Magi and promise before the cradle of the Infant Saviour that we shall face any sacrifice, even death, rather than offend Him, and shall work in every way possible for His glory and our sanctification.
3. The Magi gave Jesus material gifts also as symbols of their complete dedication to Him. They gave Him gold because He was a King; incense because He was God; and myrrh because He was man. We often say that we love God and wish to serve and obey Him in all things. But when we see that this entails sacrifice, we forget our promises.
We must ask ourselves if we are prepared to offer Jesus gold, that is, to offer Him everything we possess for the promotion of His glory, for the spread of His Kingdom, and for the relief of His poor, in whom we ought always to see and love Christ Himself. We must examine ourselves thoroughly on this. It is easy to find excuses for not giving to God and to His poor in accordance with our means. We should offer also the incense of our adoration and unceasing prayer. There can be no sanctity without prayer. There can be no real Christians without sanctity. Finally, we must offer the myrrh of our mortification. Mortification, as St. Vincent de Paul has said, is the ABC of Christian perfection. St. Paul exhorts us to carry always in ourselves the mortification of Jesus. If we are not mortified we can never be holy and can never share the joy which the Magi experienced as they lay prostrate before the cradle of our Divine Redeemer.