We celebrate Epiphany, the “light appearance from above,” when three Magi or priest-kings came to the Jesus Child with gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Many truths which make themselves manifest revolve around the qualities of the number three. There are three kings from three different lands, Persia, Africa and India. They gather the wisdom of their respective cultures and follow one star, one guiding light.
The gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh relate to the three capacities of the human being: thinking, feeling and willing. We are also made up of body, soul and spirit by a Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These are all interwoven and connected.
Gold finds its worth through human beings. How long did it sit there, underground, unknown before someone came along and realized that it could be worth something? With its amazing qualities of purity and beauty it was immediately reserved for the glory of God only. Then eventually, it was used only for Kings. Then only for rich people, until the “gold rush” in North America, where it descended into the hands of the greedy and became the “standard” by which we measure money.
Now, however, at this particular turning point of time, we find that gold is actually related to the human heart and can be used for healing in homeopathic doses. There is wisdom in the saying, “She has a heart of gold.”
In frankincense we have a visual experience of smoke rising as in prayer, and of a fragrance which cleanses the air: the human soul in devotion. Myrrh is a substance which preserves. It is a symbol of our awareness of life beyond death.
The Trinity is working through us and with us all the time. To be aware of this gives us strength to stand in TRUTH, in a world where untruth is so prevalent.
King Herod presents us with the only blatant lie in all of the Gospels. It is shocking that he would tell the Magi to return to let him know where the child Jesus was so that he could worship him. This lie leads to the slaughter of the innocents.
This is still going on. The slaughter of the innocents is all around us.
With tremendous courage we are required to stand for beauty, truth and goodness in a world of false light. We have to discern the truth in every moment of our lives, from the slightest false impression we give someone to the honest admission that we do not know something. We have to correct the truth where we can while at the same time leaving people free.
This can be our New Year’s resolution: To seek the Truth everywhere.