MEDITATION ON THE EPIPHANY: Of The Coming Of The Three Kings Of The East, To Adore The Child: And Of Their Entrance Into Jerusalem POINT IV

BASSANO, Francesco 
Adoration of the Magi 
1567-69

THE XXII. MEDITATION.

Of the coming of the three kings of the East, to adore the child: and of their entrance into Jerusalem.

THE IV POINT.

Fourthly, I am to consider, how Herod having heard this demand, consulted thereupon with the high priests, and the Scribes of the people: who answering him that this king should be born in Bethlehem of Juda, for that it was so foretold by Micheas the Prophet, he said unto the Sages: that they should there inquire, and seek for the child, whom having found, they should advise him thereof. Wherein the providence of almighty God is many ways resplendent.

1. First, in that he maketh use of the wicked, to favor the intentions of those that are good: as he made use of Herod, to discover unto the sages the place of birth of our Savior: fulfilling that which is written, that the fool shall serve the wise man; and totem that love God, all things cooperate to their good.

2. Secondly, it is resplendent, in that by means of his ministers, although they are wicked, he discovereth the verity of holy scripture to those, that desire to know it for their profit: as in this case he consented not, that the high Priests, and teachers of the law should conceal this verity from the sages. And if I with a good zeal desire to know the will of almighty God, God will discover it unto me by the means of his ministers: of whom he saith by a Prophet, that their lips keep knowledge, which they hold as it were in a chest of trust, to teach the doubtful things of the law to those that demand them, for they are the Angels, and messengers of our Lord, and the manifests of his will.

3. The providence of almighty God is likewise resplendent,in having given us the divine scriptures, wherein there is most sufficient light to know Christ, to seek, and to find him without having need of any miraculous Star, or new revelation, but only fervent prayer and profound meditation: according to that which our Savior Christ said unto the Jews; Search the scriptures, for you think in them to have life everlasting, and the same are they that give testimony of me.

O sweet JESUS that sayest, ask, and you shall have, seek, and you shall find: illuminate me that I may seek thee in thy sacred scriptures, so that I may find thee, and that I may search out the eternal life contained in them, in such sort that I may obtain it, Amen.

4. Finally, the secret judgment of almighty God resplendent in this case may affright me, and make my hair stand on end: for that the Gentiles coming from countries so far distant, and with so great labor, and travel to seek Christ: the Jews, who so many years had expected him, being so near him, yet moved not to seek him. And though they advised the Sages where they might find him, yet they took not this advice to themselves, that the verity of that might be manifested, which was afterwards spoken by this our Lord: No man can come unto me, unless the Father that sent me, draw him. But these wretches were not drawn by the Father, for they delighted more in pleasing a tyrant: and deferring their going till the Sages were returned, they never performed it. Wherefore taking warning by other mens harms, I will remove all impediments, that may any ways hinder the eternal Father from calling me by his inspiriations, and joining me with Christ, not deferring to another time to obey those which he shall give me: for delay may be peradventure the cause of my perdition?

O eternal Father, whose judgments upon the sons of men, are terrible, but yet just; by that love which thou bearest to thy Son ( I beseech thee) that seeing thou hast so great a desire, that he should be known, and adored by all men, cast me not off through my own sin and slackness, leaving me overwhelmed therein, but with efficacy pull, and draw me unto thee, that I may seek and find him, know and adore him, world with our end, to thy glory, Amen.

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