I heard them coming before I saw them, the bells on their animals ringing clear in the evening air. At first, I stood at the opening of the cave, my staff in hand, in front of Mary until I heard their greeting.
“Hail and All Glory to the King of Jews!”
I was stunned, how did they know.Then one said, “We saw his star rising in the sky and remembered the prophecy. We have traveled far to do homage to the promised one.”
I recovered and offered them hospitality bidding them to dismount from their camels. They did so and their retinue quickly began to gather three chests from their beasts.
They entered the cave and upon seeing Mary and the Child they fell on their knees. Their servants came forward and placed the chests on the ground in front of each of them.
They brought forth gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Then all of their attendants also knelt down behind them and began to praise God for his faithfulness.
After a time, they rose and I approached them. I apologized to them as I had little to offer them in the way of comfort. Gaspar replied, “We have provisions for all. Please do us the kindness of allowing us to serve you who serves him who is the Promised One.” I hesitated as it was not proper but Balthasar and Melchior joined their voices with Gaspar’s and insisted that it was proper for them to serve us since the Child’s presence was a gift beyond measure.
And so I agreed, painful though it was. Their servants built a larger fire with wood they carried and prepared a feast for us. They asked permission to remain with us for a few days so they could honor the presence of the Child. They asked what his name was and I replied, “Jesus.” At his name they all knelt.
They stayed with us three days. As they were leaving they made known to me that they intended to return by a different route to avoid seeing Herod. Something about their change of mind caused me unease.
We Were Visited by Kings
Joseph heard the bells before I did. He quickly grasped his staff and moved to the front of the cave shielding Jesus and me from the visitors. I heard their greeting, “Hail and All Glory to the King of the Jews.”
Joseph asked them how they knew. He hesitantly stepped aside as they dismounted. They presented precious gifts to Jesus.
There were three of them richly dressed each with a cohort of servants. Despite the richness of their clothing, I sensed a profound humility in each of them. Their hearts were joy-filled at being in the presence of Jesus. They all knelt before Jesus who I held in my arms. They knelt in silent prayer and then sang a hymn of praise to God.
Afterward they begged Joseph to allow them to honor us with a feast. He reluctantly agreed more so for my sake and the child’s. They also asked permission to stay. They had traveled far to see the Child of Promise as they called him and wished to remain longer than a few hours. To this Joseph also agreed.
I watched and listened attentively to how the three men spoke to their servants. They were kind and gentle in their commands and their servants were obviously well cared for by these Kings. The servants for their part rejoiced at serving their Masters. All rejoiced at seeing Jesus.
I had thought our secret was safe, that only Joseph and I knew about the true nature of the Child. They said they saw His star rising as prophesied. My heart froze at those words. Who else knows? The fact that they wish to remain with us I believe is a good sign. They mean no harm to the child. I can feel that in my heart.