Although the Gospels do not tell us the names of the wise men, in the West they have traditionally been given the names Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar. The wise men traveled from the land of Persia – a very long journey. Historians say this trip should have taken three months. But more importantly, their pilgrimage to Bethlehem is really a symbol of the inward journey they made in their hearts – a journey from paganism to belief in Jesus as the Savior of the world.
Like the wise men we are on a spiritual journey to find our Savior. Like the wise men, we must rely on the grace of God to lead us to the light of Jesus.
These wise men brought him three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Why did they bring him gifts? Well these kings were from Persia, descendents of the Chaldeans. And it was the Chaldeans who had run riot in the temple of God in Jerusalem, pillaging and destroying the temple.
But these kings did not come to blaspheme the temple. No! They now came to worship and adore the Lord of the temple. They brought him gold because Christ is the King of the Universe; frankincense because Christ is God Incarnate and myrrh, a burial ointment, because Christ came to die for sinners.
Today, approach the crib of the Baby Jesus. Follow the 3 wise men and bring your gifts: the gold of true contrition, the frankincense of fervent prayer and the myrhh of mortification and penance.