This past week, we celebrated the feast of the Epiphany or the witnessing of the child Jesus by three wise men. The bible does not state that they were kings but that they sought the King of the Jews, who was to be born in Bethlehem. They followed a star and believed they had found him.
If there had been wise women instead of wise men on the scene, who would they have been?
The innkeeper’s wife surely would be one of them. Who else would have thought of the barn as a safe and warm place for the pregnant woman to deliver her child? She must have sent her husband to move the animals around, muck the stall, and prepare the fresh straw and manger. She saw Mary’s fatigue and Joseph’s worry as she sent all scurrying to do her bidding and led them to wait by the fire until all was ready.
The second wise woman would have to be the cook. She no doubt was called by the innkeeper’s wife to look to the needs of this new family. The cook brought them warm food and rocks heated by the hearth to warm their feet, as well as straw for the child Jesus.
The two must have called the third wise woman, the midwife. Joseph would not have assisted at the birth because blood would have made him unclean. He would walk and worry but it would have been the midwife and the other two women to comfort and encourage Mary. The midwife would prepare for the birth and she alone would be the first to hold the child Jesus and present him to his mother, Mary.
We think all three of these wise women were there at the birth of Jesus. All life is holy and they saw the Holiest of the Holy being born.