The Feast of the Epiphany, remembering the journey of the three Magi to visit the Christ child, found me contemplating the manger, as the visitors from afar presented their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
As I looked at the scene, I wondered which figures I would identify most with–Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the Magi, the animals, even the Christ child. To my surprise I found myself drawn to the Magi.
I have no gold, frankincense, or myrrh to offer, and I certainly don’t have a camel! So what was the connection? I then realized that I do have similar gifts to offer–the gold of my time, effort, and presence, the frankincense of welcoming the Christ child into my life, the myrrh of linking my afterlife to that of Jesus.
The other feature of the manger scene that pulled me in was that the Magi were on the fringe of the scene, that the Christ child was in the center, the main focus of attention. The Magi were not the main focus, but they were in the picture, participating actively in the unfolding of the scene. That’s the role of all of us, to keep Christ in the center and to play our role in the working out of God’s reign on earth. May the coming year find us offering our own gifts to the Christ child and playing our own role in God’s work on earth. (Foggy images were made on New Year’s Day. Hoping for a more bright and clear year!)
“We have seen his star in the East, and have come with gifts to adore the Lord.” (cf. Matthew 2:2)