Gold, Frankincence, and Myrrh…

(Friends, I originally wrote this piece for the feast of Epiphany. However, I think it shows us how to live the Epiphany each time we receive Jesus in Holy Communion.)

On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then opening their treasure chests they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)

On entering the house…

Let us enter the glorious house of the Lord, his church. We have traveled far in this life seeking for our King. To our everlasting joy and amazement, he comes to the lowly manger of our hearts in each Holy Communion. How can we possibly be ready? It is good and wise to ask Mary and Joseph to prepare the lowly manger of our hearts, that we will have a worthy resting place for the Infant King.

…they saw the child with Mary his mother…

Do we see the child in our hearts after every Communion? Do we see him there with Mary his mother? What do we say? She smiles at us and beckons to us. How do we respond? Where is Joseph? What is he saying to us? We can ponder these things in our hearts as Mary did.

…and they knelt down and paid him homage…

He is here! Here! In our hearts! Let us prostrate ourselves before the Infant King. He comes to rule the world with justice and the peoples with fairness. Oh how we need him, at this time as in no other. O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord. Our prayers of praise and thanksgiving after Communion are so fruitful and powerful. The evil powers quake before them. The evil one will try to distract us from our prayers at this time. Fight his tactics with the invincible weapons of humility, praise, and gratitude.

Then opening their treasure chests…

Where our hearts are, there is our treasure. Let us examine our hearts. What have we stored up? Do we have anything fit to offer the King of Kings? Have we allowed the refuse of the world to collect in the corners? Are we clinging to what cannot save us? Let us fling open the doors of our hearts and discard the refuse without a backward glance. Then we will be able to see the real treasure, the offerings we can make to the Prince of Peace.

…they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

What do we have left after we have disposed of the refuse? Where do we find gold, frankincense or myrrh to offer? We can offer our Mighty God the gold of our almsgiving. In giving to the poor we give to Christ, and whatever we give away, the Lord will repay a hundred-fold in spiritual treasures, pearls of great price. We can offer the Wonder-Counsellor the frankincense of our prayers. But what is the fragrance that accompanies our prayers into heaven? Are we sincere and attentive, praying always in the Divine Will, without the stench of selfish motives? We can offer our Everlasting Father the myrhh of fasting. In dying to self, we offer our Lord myrrh, a burial spice. By our penance we say to our Infant King, “I am willing to die with you and for you. My penance prepares my body for burial.”

Our Lord comes to us anew in each Communion. What can we offer? Let us ponder this great mystery with Mary, that we may bear Christ to the world as she did.

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