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They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary, his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:10-11)
Dear STA Family,
One of the great images we have at this time of year is that of the three Magi traversing the desert in the darkness, being led by a star. Perhaps most recognizable to us about the Magi were their mysterious gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Scholars have interpreted the gifts as things that (at the time) would have been given to a King—gold; a Priest, to invoke the presence of the Lord—frankincense; and to one that would have died, as a burial ointment—myrrh. As Catholics, we see that these gifts were prophetic in nature, signifying Jesus’ as we know Him—His Kingship, His Divinity and as the Redeemer who died on the cross.
Another striking interpretation of the Magi’s gifts comes to us from Saint Irenaeus, who likened them to virtue, prayer, and suffering. Virtue—which we’ve spoken much about this year with our Building Virtues Capital Campaign and is core to our school curriculum—is that which makes us dignified, morally good and pure. When we live a virtuous life, we are preparing ourselves for God—perfecting ourselves to be worthy when presented in front of Him. Prayer is that which connects us to God. When we take time to speak to Him, we deepen our relationship with Him. When we worship and adore Him, we are letting Him replace those evils in our lives and restore our glorified nature. Lastly, suffering—which can be the hardest to swallow—is really an act of true love. In suffering, we are united to Christ’s Passion. We can offer ourselves up in all that we do—through the blood, sweat and tears—as a gift to Him.
We can take a cue from the Magi this Christmas and look into our own hearts, asking what gifts we each have that can pay homage to God. I see many of you have already began bearing beautiful gifts here at Saint Thomas. I think of Sodality and their gift of bringing back Advent Nights—thank you! I think of the team that has worked tirelessly for our Fund for All ministry to provide our children with scholarships—thank you! I think of each parishioner, young and old filling our pews each week, bringing your songs and prayers, your time and tithing—thank you! These are just a few examples of how we can each give of ourselves and show our love. I hope we will each be inspired this Christmas to find our “perfect gift”...something to honor the King, to praise the Lord, to thank Our Savior for His Sacrifice. Let us make the spiritual journey to find Him and make our offering, letting His light guide our way. I wish all of you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!
In all things may Christ be glorified,