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Sunday, January 4, 2009

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Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6
Psalm 72
Matthew 2:1-12

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the gift of self

"Then they opened their coffers and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." —Matthew 2:11

For most of the world, today's feast of Epiphany is the most important day of the Christmas season. It's the day when many people exchange gifts and imitate the wise men who gave gifts to Jesus. Today the Lord is calling us to give Jesus the present of ourselves, to prostrate ourselves before Him and do Him homage (Mt 2:11).

Like the wise men, we should express our giving of everything to Jesus by giving Him something — a gift that would represent our all. Some of us should give Jesus gold. We should give money to God's work to the degree that our lifestyle is significantly affected. Others should give frankincense. In the Bible, our prayer is represented by incense (Ps 141:2). We should commit ourselves to a time of prayer and fasting that will in effect be giving our lives to the Lord.

Finally, we should give the Lord myrrh. Myrrh is associated with death since it is a perfume used to prepare a dead body for burial. We should give a gift that would force us to die to ourselves. On this great feast of Epiphany, let's be wise enough to give Jesus our all.

Prayer:  Jesus, in this season celebrating Your birthday, I give myself and my life to You forever.

Promise:  "Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you." —Is 60:1

Praise:  Praise You, risen Jesus! At Your Name every knee shall bend and every tongue confess You as Lord (Phil 2:10-11).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Living In Reality or our tapes, either a four-part audio series starting with AV 38-1 or a two-part video series starting with V-38.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008

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