Re: Devotional Thoughts for the first Sunday after Christmas
- This is in response to Georgeachan's "Devotional Thoughts". I Read it as a very good Sermon. I thank Achan for such an analysis of the occation. Any body can read bible. But, explaining and giving out the meanings of those verses and chapters are what is expected of Achans. Georgeachan did a very good job. While reading about the Magi, I went back to one of the old articles from SOCM, I saved in my computer, by Reji. The names of Magis are same but the origin varies. Please read it for yourself:
I have found in Orthodoxy, not everything was written down, but verbal tradition. As much as we commemorate Sts. Joachim and Anna, they are no where to be found in the Bible.
I don't want to plagerize...
In Christian culture, the Magi were men who came, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, to adore the newborn Jesus. They were guided by the Star of Bethlehem. Their number was not identified in the Gospel of Matthew, but Christian tradition has set their number as three, called them kings, and named them Caspar or Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.
Their coming was foretold. The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall
offer gifts, the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute. All kings shall pay Him homage, all nations shall serve Him (72:10-11). Isaiah also prophesied the gifts: Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; all from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the Lord (Isaiah 60:6).
One source states that the pseudo-Bedan text gives us the following clues about these men.
The oldest of the Magi was Melchoir, King of Arabia. He had a long gray beard and gave gold as a gift, symbolizing the acceptance of Christ as King.
Balthazar, King of Ethiopia, was middle-aged, swarthy, bearded, and bore the gift of frankincense, symbolizing Christ as High Priest.
Finally, Caspar was King of Tarsus, in his twenties. His gift was myrrh, which was used in making medicines. This symbolized Christ as the healer and great physician.
It is said that after discovering and honoring the Savior, the Magi
returned home and surrendered their high positions, gave their property to the poor, and went to spread the Gospel. The apostle St. Thomas is said to have baptized them forty years later in India, ordaining them as priests.
An excerpt from a Medieval saints calendar printed in Cologne reads:
Having undergone many trials and fatigues for the Gospel, the three wise men met at Sewa (Sebaste in Armenia) in 54 (AD) to celebrate the feast of Christmas. Thereupon, after the celebration of Mass, they died: St. Melchior on 1st of January, aged 116; St. Balthasar on 6th of January, aged 112; and St. Gaspar on 11th of January, aged 109. They became martyrs and were buried in the walls of Jerusalem.
Thomas Daniel (Reji)
Please note that the above reproduced texts of pseudo-Bedan and
Medieval saints calendar give us a contradictory image about the age of the Maggis. Since this is a reproduction from the original text, I haven't changed anything from it and quoted as it is. Any of our members who have more knowledge in the above matter may please clarify this age factor.
St. Peter's Church, Chicago.