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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflection for January 7

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

January 7, 2018 — The Epiphany of the Lord
Matthew 2:1-12
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

While giving a mission at St. Francis Parish in Oklahoma City, I asked kindergartners what gifts the three wise men brought to Jesus. A little girl replied, “Gold, Frankenstein, and myrrh.”

The magi brought frankincense, not Frankenstein! The incense acknowledged that Jesus is truly God, and the Jews burned incense in the Jerusalem temple to worship the Lord. The magi offered gold to honor Christ as King, for they asked Herod, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?” Finally, they gave myrrh for his burial as true man and crucified Savior; myrrh was a component of Jewish burial services.

Epiphany means “manifestation” or “revelation.” God manifested himself to the magi by the light of a star. They could have ignored the star and busied themselves with other things. But for them, following the star and discovering the newborn king of the Jews was the most important thing in life. And the full Epiphany came when “they saw the child with Mary his mother.”

We too must make it our life’s goal to see Jesus. The magi found him in Bethlehem (which means “City of Bread”). We find him in the Eucharist. They were led to him by starlight and by Scripture. We are led by the light of the Holy Spirit, who opens for us the meaning of Scripture. They saw Jesus with Mary his mother. We find him with Mary, our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.

At Mass we worship Jesus as God, acknowledge him as King of the universe, and seek salvation through his death and Resurrection. When the magi saw Jesus with Mary his mother, they “prostrated themselves and did him homage.” May we learn from them to adore Jesus at every Mass with devotion and enthusiasm.

We don’t bring Frankenstein to Mass, but we should bring the frankincense of worship, the gold of heartfelt prayer and song, and the myrrh of loving attentiveness.

Read last week's reflection.