(Permanent) Tuesday and Wednesday - 8am to 9am
by Fr Doug Harris 2021
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. The word Epiphany means ‘manifestation.’ On this day, Our Lord manifested or revealed Himself to Gentiles (people who are not Jewish). He manifested Himself to “some wise man … from the east.” Tradition has given these wise men names: Melchior, Kaspar and Belthazar. When the wise men saw the baby, they ‘knelt before Him.’ The original Greek word for ‘knelt before Him’ is ‘proskolineo’ which means: ‘to go on one’s knees and do homage.’
According to a mystic, Luisa Piccarreta, whose writings have been approved by the church as doctrinally sound, the Baby Jesus revealed His Divine state to the Magi in such a way that they remained enraptured, so much so, that if the Lord had not withdrawn His Divine appearance, they would have remained there forever. As the Baby Jesus withdrew His Divine appearance, the Holy Magi came to themselves.
The three men knew that this baby, was God and therefore He was here to establish God’s Kingdom. This baby would do this in three ways as signified by the three gifts which each wise man brought: gold, frankincense and myrrh
The First Gift was Gold:
Gold signifies that this baby is a king (Gold is given to royalty). This confirms the Messianic prophecy of the Jewish scriptures. In Isaiah, for example, God prophesied that the Messiah would be, “King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Mighty God and Prince of Peace.” The mission of Our Lord is to restore His Kingdom (which was lost due to Adam’s sin) and restore Himself, God, as King, in our hearts. Herod was frightened that this newborn king would usurp him as King, but Herod should have rejoiced in the birth of this newborn king because, as Our Lord said to Pontius Pilate: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. His Kingship is not of this world. On His Cross, Pontius Pilate had printed” “King of the Jews.” All kings reign in palaces; our Lord reigned on a cross. Christ came not to kill King Herod but to give life to King Herod by killing Himself. All of us are called to be a king or queen, not of this kingdom, but of God’s kingdom.
The Second Gift is Frankincense (or Incense):
Frankincense signifies that this baby is a Priest. A task of a priest is to offer sacrifice, Jesus as Priest offers Himself as the Sacrifice. This is why St John the Baptist, being led by the Holy Spirit, said about Jesus: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Our Lord’s mission was to be the New Lamb that will be sacrificed, to forgive the sins of the world from the beginning of creation until its completion. At every Mass, the Lamb of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ, is sacrificed.
In Holy Communion Christ gives Himself to us as Food. As our food, Jesus gives all Himself to us. Through Holy Communion, Jesus becomes One with us, thereby fulfilling His mission or purpose which is to establish His Kingdom within each one of us in the hope of establishing His Kingdom within all creation.
The Third Gift is Myrrh:
Myrrh was used to anoint the dead. This signifies that this baby’s mission is to die. From His conception to His death, Jesus dies continually, and he desired to die perfectly and infinitely. Jesus chose to die to Himself, as much as He could die, from the moment He became Flesh to the moment of His death. Every moment of His Life, Jesus died to Himself perfectly and infinitely. An offering Incarnate. We read in Isaiah (53:4-5): “He has born ‘our’ infirmities … He was wounded for ‘our’ transgressions crushed by ‘our’ iniquities upon Him was the punishment that made ‘us’ “whole”. Jesus took ‘our punishment’ on Himself, for every sin; ever committed and will be committed. At every moment, Christ’s Love for us drove Him to the point of extinction – to the point of mortal death. Only His Divinity enabled Him to live on. Yes, myrrh was a prophetic gift because Jesus was chosen to die to re-establish His Kingdom on earth. We today are called to give God these three gifts. Gold, incense and myrrh.
The gold that God wants from us is to always die to our human will which is to die to pride, lust, envy, etc. and to do only God’s Will, which is to think and do only what God would.
The incense that God wants from us is to pray and adore Him with all our hearts mind, soul and strength.
The myrrh that God wants from us is desire to suffer for souls as He suffered.
Our Lord revealed or manifested Himself to Gentiles, not only so that we would come to know Him and experience a relationship with Him, but also, that we would become One with Him. That He would live in us as One.
There is no limit to Our Lord’s epiphany or manifestation because there is no limit to His love.