January 6, 2019
The Magi were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary, his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The story of the Magi which we hear at Epiphany each year is not just a history lesson. Many wonder where the Magi were from, how many or who they really were. But the Magi are not the only seekers of Christ. We are all called to be Magi! We Christians are on a journey to Bethlehem; we are all called to seek the Lord. Indeed, ultimately he is to be found at the end of every person’s journey. Let’s look for clues in the scripture of the day.
He was found at a cave, in a manger, in Bethlehem. When we seek the Lord, we will not find him in a palace or dressed in fine robes. Instead, we must come to Bethlehem, which means House of Bread. We will find Jesus among the humble of this world, the needy, the poor. This is where his face will be most visible. And we will especially find him in the Eucharist. Here is our House of Bread. It is amid the poor and humble circumstances of our adoration chapel that we may go on pilgrimage to Bethlehem, meet the king, and find him much as the Magi did.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage. We kneel in adoration before the king who, although hidden from the proud, is available to all who have the humility to come to him and bow before him in silence. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Gold. We come before the king in prayer and offer him that which is most precious to us: our time, our obedience, our offerings of treasure or service to the poor. As a great king, Jesus wants the best that we have to offer.
Frankincense. Incense is a symbol of our prayers that we lift up to God. We offer him this gift whenever we pray, whether we feel anything or not. The more of a sacrifice our prayer is, the greater will be the cloud of incense before the Lord. Our service to others is also incense before the Lord.
Myrrh. Myrrh symbolizes great sacrifice, dying to self, conversion. When I make a journey to the great King as the Magi did, I will strive to be changed by the encounter. Myrrh represents every suffering, sacrifice, or act of repentance we have made before the Lord!