Today, we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord, that is, His manifestation here on Earth.
In the Gospel, the infant Jesus is revealed to be the Messiah through the gifts of the Magi.
“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 2:11
Through gold, Jesus’ kingship and majesty are revealed. He is revealed to be the King above all kings.
Through frankincense which is used in worship and offering to the Lord (Leviticus 24:7), Jesus is revealed as the Living God who is here with us. He is revealed as the Living God who hears our prayers and receives our offerings.
Through gold and frankincense, God reveals that He has come to visit His people.
“Arise! Shine, for your light has come, the glory of the LORD has dawned upon you. All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and heralding the praises of the LORD.” — Isaiah 60:1,6
Through myrrh which is used for anointing the Levitical priests (Exodus 30:30), Jesus is revealed to be the High Priest. God’s Anointed. His Firstborn who teaches and shows us the way to the Father through His life.
Through myrrh which is used as burial ointment, God reveals Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world through His passion, death, and resurrection.
Whether In life, in death, or in resurrection, Jesus brings us back to eternity with the Father.
But, there is a fourth gift that reveals to us who Jesus is — Mary, His mother.
“And on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.” — Matthew 2:11
Through Mary who was at the side of Jesus, He is revealed to be the long-awaited Son of David, whose kingdom will last forever.
“Then Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, and the king stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king’s mother, who sat at his right.” — 1 Kings 2:19
During the time of the Davidic kings, the queen was not the king’s wife, but the king’s mother. That’s why Mary is considered as the Queen Mother, for she is the Mother of Jesus and not the spouse of God the Father.
Throughout her life, Mary never raised her own pedestal. She never became proud or conceited despite her blessedness. Despite her special place in the Gospel and in the Church, she always points us to her Son and to the Father.
In the visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, Elizabeth exclaimed, “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43) In the visitation, Mary points us to the Child in Her womb who is the Lord.
In the canticle of Mary or the Magnificat, Mary points us to the Father who is gracious to the lowly and those who fear Him.
At the wedding of Cana, Mary tells the wine servers (and all of us), “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)
Even the four Marian dogmas (Mary as the Mother of God, Her perpetual virginity, the Immaculate Conception, and the Assumption) teach us more about the graciousness of God than the blessedness and blamelessness of Mary herself.
Mary may not be one of the Magi’s gifts to Jesus. But, she is God’s gift to His beloved Son. She is God's gift to all of us. Like any other gift, she also reveals to us who Jesus is. By knowing more about Mary, we learn more about her Son and the Father’s graciousness.
Today, God is revealing Himself to us. But, are we doing our part of knowing Him more, of learning more about Him, which is one of the foundations of a relationship with Him?
Let us commit to learning more about God, to sharing Him more to others, and to going out more and loving Him more through others.
P.S. Today’s art is created by my wife. You can follow her on Instagram @ranzelcamille