Journey of the Magi by James Tissot


The Epiphany of the Lord

From living frivolous in Paris then in London to finding the sacred in Palestine, French Realist painter James Tissot found Truth in the desert.  A far cry from painting fashion models in Vanity Fair magazine, he lived with a divorcee until her death from tuberculosis which crushed his spirit, then returned to Paris with grief veering him back to faith.

Tissot painted this ‘Journey of the Magi’  in 1894 after three visits to the Holy Land.  Rare is his imagination of the three kings coming from different lands and converging together at one point; thus the Magi are in frontal position, with the star behind them as they approach Bethlehem.  Remarkable are Casper (on the left) from India; Melchior (in the middle) from Persia and Balthasar (on the right) from Arabia.  These were righteous wise men from their respective countries seeking truth. Such was their amazing arrival!

Today as we pause to honor the Magi, aren’t we like them?  Crisscrossing the paths of life to understand ourselves; to find our own truth and purpose.  Their gifts of Myrrh, Frankincense and gold are our gifts as well, to receive the anointed oil, perfume fragrance and gold of God’s kingship waiting for us at the end of life.

May we behold the glory of God at this Epiphany of Christ.