The Visit of the Magi – The Epiphany of the Lord

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Lesson Overview

In this week鈥檚 Gospel passage, the magi visit the infant Jesus to bring Him gifts and honor Him. In this lesson, students will come to a deeper understanding of the identity of the magi, and analyze their story to determine the meaning of their visit to Jesus.

Lesson Materials


  1. Have students read the Gospel passage, or read it aloud to your students, and then answer the focus questions. You may have students answer them on their own or you may discuss them together as a class.
  2. Review and discuss the answers to the focus questions.
  3. Have students complete What is the Meaning of the Visit of the Magi? Students will learn about the identity of the magi and what their visit represented.
  4. Review and discuss the answers when finished.

Answer Key

Focus Questions

  1. Bethlehem. Herod was king.
  2. The magi travelled from the East. They knew that there was a newborn king of the Jews because they saw his star rising.
  3. The king was troubled because he felt that his own power was threatened by the newborn 鈥渒ing of the Jews.鈥 The chief priests and scribes knew where Christ was born because of an Old Testament prophecy that announced His birthplace as Bethlehem.
  4. Herod sent the magi to search for the child and to send him word when they had found him so that he too could come and pay homage. It is likely Herod did not wish to pay Jesus homage, but rather sought to kill Him.
  5. A star which led them to Bethlehem and stopped over Jesus鈥 house.
  6. They paid Him homage and knelt before Him. They offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
  7. They were warned in a dream not to.

What is the Meaning of the Visit of the Magi

  1. Every nation on earth.
  2. A mystery.
  3. This mystery was not made known to previous generations as it has now to the Apostles by the Holy Spirit.
  4. The Gentiles are co-heirs to the promises of Christ, the Good News of Salvation in the Gospel, and members of the one Body of Christ, the Church.

Critical Thinking Question

The magi represent the Gentiles that St. Paul spoke of. Their visit represents the fulfillment of the Responsorial Psalm, that all the nations on earth will adore the Lord. Thus, the magi are in a certain sense all of us, who come from every nation on earth to adore our God and King.


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