The Epiphany feast expresses that the infant Jesus or Christ Child is now shown to the world

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On January 6, every year, the Epiphany is celebrated.
It is the visible appearance of the saint. Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar represent the three continents known then. In art, the magi are often depicted as young adults and old men. For example, Beda Venerabilis wrote around 730 based on an older Greek model: the first is said to have been Melchior, an old man with a white beard; the second was Caspar, a beardless youth; the third was Baltasar, with a dark full beard.
The wise men from the East are the Zoroaster priests (Greek magoi) who came from the East. Who were they looking for? What gifts did they bring with them? What changes when someone with the religion of their origin, e.g., Zoroastrianism or the cult of Mithras, arrives where the divine beginning appears in flesh and blood? The evangelist Matthew says: “They (the magi) went into the house and saw the child and Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then they took out their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Mt 2:11).
Against the background of the New Testament, it becomes clear how these gifts point to Jesus Christ. It is about his origin, arrival, and future. The Revelation to John speaks of gold.
It says of the heavenly Jerusalem: “The street (Greek plateia) of the city is of pure gold.” (Rev 21:21). Christ, the Lamb of God, comes to earth from heavenly glory.
The splendor of eternity shines golden
When angels appear, it is a spiritual, heavenly reality. What a contrast to the Golden House (lat. Domus aurea) in earthly Rome, which Emperor Nero had built as his residence. For personal contemplation, one could ask oneself what spiritual significance gold, frankincense, and myrrh have in one’s life beyond materiality. What is my gold? All objects made of precious metal are valuable: pectoral cross and ring, icons and gold jewelry, chalice and paten. Understanding something as an offering means letting it go. We must enter into a free relationship with everything. In this way, it can be placed under the blessing of God. The Caesars demanded divine worship. The sign of this was the incense to be burned for them. But no worship is due to them, only to God alone.
The incense symbolizes spirits that rise upwards
The praying person turns to the eternally creative spirit in heaven. God becomes present on earth in Jesus Christ. He thus becomes a human and divine resource for people who seek and find him. What is my incense? Taking more time to pray is what the gift of incense stands for. Because praying means allowing yourself to be loved by the one whose presence fills the atmosphere of prayer. This is how faith and trust grow in your own life. Prayer is the key and the method for becoming knowledgeable about God. This applies to praying together and personally.
Myrrh as a sign of appreciation and love
When there is no longer a spiritual soul in the body, the spiritualized and ensouled body, but only the body exists in its transience, one speaks of a relic.
What is my myrrh? The legacy of Jesus is what is to be preserved. Just as myrrh serves to preserve the body, so study and proclamation serve to understand Jesus’ legacy in a concrete way, to pass it on in a living way, to transpose it into a medium, or to rewrite it in concrete terms.
The myrrh thus becomes a sign of hope that not death but eternal life has the last word: “We proclaim your death, O Lord, and praise your resurrection until you come again in glory,” is the confession of the church of Jesus Christ.
The more prohibitions, commandments, controls, and restrictions the state implements, the more it is necessary to invest in spiritual development. Otherwise, there is a risk of social collapse sooner or later because the population is not the object of an authoritarian state but consists mainly of free, self-responsible subjects. Getting spiritual resources flowing is more necessary than ever!
– hp/picture: Bild von Josep Monter Martinez auf Pixabay

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