The Epiphany of the Lord, Year C

Date: 
Sunday, January 6, 2019
Speaker: 
Fr. Kyle
Homily transcription: 

The gifts that the Magi bring are gold, frankincense and myrrh.  But, in the wise words of Ernie from Sesame Street says, one of these things is not like the other.  One of these things just doesn’t belong.  Gold is a symbol of the riches and royalty of a king.  Okay, fine.  Frankincense, commonly offered a god or deity, is a symbol of Godliness.  Makes sense.  But myrrh was used for embalming and for burying the dead.  If I was Mary and Joseph getting these gifts for their baby on the first Epiphany, I would be like, “what’s the deal with the myrrh.”  It’s like that strange gift your crazy aunt Gladys brings to Christmas. 

I would like to propose that, while seemingly a little strange, myrrh is a sign of true power and the greatest value.  A great leader is not one who is willing to take up his power, but to lay it down for those he serves.  The truly great parent is not the one who lords their authority over their children but who daily lays down their live out of love for their children.  Our lives have great meaning and purpose.  Our lives have great power when we have found something not only worth living for, but something worth dying for.  This is why myrrh is such a great gift.  It shows us that true meaning a purpose in Christ is not in possessing riches or taking up power, but in laying down his life out of love.

May we reflect on our gifts, on our lives and what is most valuable.  When we do, and as we do may we find meaning and purpose.  May we find something in our lives not only worth living for, but something even worth dying for.