Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hail, Three Kings!

As the Holy Mother Church celebrates the blessed Feast of the Epiphany this day, we also commemorate the arrival of the Three Kings, or Magi, from the Far East, to the humble manger where the Sweet Infant of Bethlehem laid. Here, they bowed down before their Creator, adoring Him, offering Him their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

It would be interesting to note that each of these three gifts are symbolic of our disposition and the spiritual gifts that we ought to offer and present to our Lord God this day, nay, daily for all our lives.

Our material possessions in our earthly course ought not to be a hindrance to prevent us from attaining our spiritual perfection, so that we may come at last to the Happy Home where we have, through the sin of our First Parents, denied ourselves. Hence, all our material goods and belongings, which the gold represents, should all help us and direct us to our Last End, that is, the glory and eternal bliss of Heaven, and the beatific vision of God.

The frankincense is a symbol of our prayers. For if our prayers are sincere and truthful, they shall ascend and penetrate, like a sweet odour, through the clouds to reach the Throne of the Most High.

Our Lord did not promise us riches and joy in this our earthly pilgrimage. Instead, He called, and continues to call us, to penance every single day. Myrrh, a bitter substance, is a symbol of the self-denial and mortification of our passions that we must still practised daily, in order for us to attain to the best of our abiliites the spiritual perfection that God requires of us, so that we may deserve to enter His Kingdom.

During the Holy Mass this day, the Church reminds us of the three-fold Epiphany, which is the Greek word for Manifestation, of Christ: to the Magi, that is, to the Gentiles; in His Baptism at Jordan, when the Voice from Heaven declared: This is My Beloved Son; and the first miracle of our Lord, through the intercession of our Blessed Lady, at Cana, where He changed water into wine.

Here is a picture of my very own Crèche I had at home, a gift fresh from France.

The kangaroo thinks it is an Angel and climbs to the top of the roof, using some form of grapple, and sings the Gloria and to get a better view of the Infant King. And there certainly are some unwelcomed guests visiting the manger... See if you spot them.

We Three Kings of Orient Are

We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.


Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, voices raising,
Worshipping God on high.


Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb.


Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Sounds through the earth and skies.


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