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Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, ...

Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy: The Three Wise Men" (named Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar). Detail from: "Mary and Child, surrounded by angels", mosaic of a Ravennate italian-byzantine workshop, completed within 526 AD by the so-called "Master of Sant'Apollinare". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Preaching on the Feast of the Epiphany, St. Gregory the Great tells his congregation that the gifts of the Magi are still brought to Christ every day. Whoever worships Christ according to Catholic doctrine brings the same priceless gifts the Magi brought.

The story read to us from the Gospel properly records those days when the three Magi, who had neither been taught by the prophets’ predictions nor instructed by the witness of the Law, came to acknowledge God from the furthest reaches of the East. But we see this same thing more clearly and abundantly carried on right now in the enlightenment of all those who are called. The prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled: “The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (Isaiah 52:10); and again, “for that which has not been told them they shall see, and that which they have not heard they shall understand” (Isaiah 52:15).

So when we see men, devoted to worldly wisdom and far from believing in Jesus Christ, brought out of the depth of their error and called to an acknowledgment of the true Light, it is doubtless the brightness of the divine grace that is at work. Whatever new light shines into the darkness of their hearts comes from the rays of the same star. It moves them with wonder, and, going before, leads the minds it has visited with its splendor to the adoration of God.

But if we want to consider carefully how their triple gift is also offered by all who come to Christ on feet of faith, isn’t the same offering repeated in the hearts of true believers? Whoever acknowledges Christ as King of the universe brings gold from the treasure of his heart. Whoever believes that the only-begotten Son of God united true human nature to Himself offers myrrh. Whoever confesses that He is not at all inferior to His Father’s majesty worships Him, so to speak, with incense.

–St. Gregory the Great, Sermon 36, 1

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