The wise men, therefore, fulfil their desire, and come to the child, the Lord Jesus Christ, the same star going before them.

They adore the Word in flesh, the Wisdom in infancy, the Power in weakness, the Lord of majesty in the reality of man:

And by their gifts make open acknowledgment of what they believe in their hearts, that they may show forth the mystery of their faith and understanding.

The incense they offer to God, the myrrh to Man, the gold to the King, consciously paying honour to the divine and human nature in union:

Because while each substance had its own properties, there was no difference in the power of either.

And when the wise men had returned to their own land, and Jesus had been carried into Egypt at the Divine suggestion, Herod’s madness blazes out into fruitless schemes.

He orders all the little ones in Bethlehem to be slain, and since he knows not which infant to fear, extends a general sentence against the age he suspects.

But that which the wicked king removes from the world, Christ admits to heaven.

And on those for whom He had not yet spent His redeeming blood, He already bestows the dignity of martyrdom.

Lift your faithful hearts then, dearly-beloved, to the gracious blaze of eternal light.

And in adoration of the mysteries dispensed for man’s salvation give your diligent heed to the things which have been wrought on your behalf.

Love the purity of a chaste life, because Christ is the Son of a virgin.

“Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11), as the blessed Apostle, present in his words as we read, exhorts us:

“In malice be ye children” (1 Cor.14:20), because the Lord of glory conformed Himself to the infancy of mortals.

Follow after humility which the Son of God deigned to teach His disciples.

Put on the power of patience, in which ye may be able to gain your souls; seeing that He who is the Redemption of all, is also the Strength of all.

“Set your minds on the things which are above, not on the things which are on the earth” (Col. 3:2).

Walk firmly along the path of truth and life:  let not earthly things hinder you for whom are prepared heavenly things.

Leo the Great (c.400-461): Sermon 31, 2-3.