Today is the Solemnity of the Epiphany. Our reading comes from Matthew 2: 1-12. I’m sure you all know the story of the “Magi” who come to see the baby Jesus. There has always been some speculation as to who the Magi really were. Some people believe they were astrologers, others believe they were royalty. I guess it really doesn’t matter whether they were kings or stargazers. The important thing is that they were Gentiles. It is believed that they might have come from Persia or another country in that area of the world. They were not members of the Jewish faith. The fact that they come to see baby Jesus and bring him gifts is a testimony that these visitors believe baby Jesus to be royalty. The tradition of gift giving at Christmas started with the three men from the East.
More interesting is the fact that “They prostrated themselves and did him homage………and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Why gold, frankincense, and myrrh? Gold is a gift you would give to royalty. As the Magi offer Jesus gold they are testifying to the fact that he is a king. Frankincense is a gift you would give to deity. By giving frankincense they testify that he is God. The next gift myrrh is a bit more troubling because myrrh is perfumed oil used to anoint the dead. The Magi, by giving this gift, are testifying to the sacrifice Jesus will make on the cross some 30 years in the future.
Perhaps today we could spend a moment or two thinking about the Magi and Jesus and what this could mean in our daily lives. Have we offered Jesus any gifts for the things he has done for us? Have we offered Jesus homage because he is our God? Have we thought about the gift that Jesus gave us when he offered himself on the cross? Now that is something to think about!
Peace and All Good!