It is a new year, a new decade, and for some a new life with Christ. Last night was also the second full moon of the month of December: a BLUE MOON. A Christian dedicates his life to Christ, and attempts to live a life worthy of Christ’s kingdom on a daily basis. Because of free-will, temptation, the mark of original sin on our souls, and the effects of evil in today’s society, most of us fail each day. That is why we have to begin anew each day: a daily “conversion” to God. Sometimes, something catches and a person learns to live a life in the fashion of Christ; imitating Christ in all ways possible for a human. A true role model for all Christians; and Catholics call recognize them as “Saints.” These saints come around “once in a blue moon.”
Today is the Solemnity of the Mother of God
& Happy New Year!
Quote or Joke of the Day:
Peace starts with a smile.
… 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. (NAB Mt 2:11)
I picture the beautiful Jesus, all wrapped up, and being held by His mother: Mary. Animals present in the background, shepherds caring for them, and fixing meals for all, when the magi enter the cave Jesus used as His home at this time. The awe these magi had must have been astounding. Did shivers go down their spines? Did their eyes swell with tears? Did the scene meet their expectations?
The gifts given to Jesus can be found in Old Testament prophesies. In Isaiah 60:6, “Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.” And in Psalm 72:10-11, “May the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute, the kings of Arabia and Seba offer gifts. May all kings bow before him, all nations serve him.” Did the magi know that their gifts were predicted, or did they bring these gifts because of the prophecies. Either way, the gifts had significant roles attached to them.
Gold signified the kingship of Christ. Even then, gold was considered precious. Gold was not the standard money used by most at this time, and those that had gold, were obviously wealthy.
Frankincense identified his divinity, and role as Priest. It was used as a medicine, and it was also burned to carry prayers to heaven.
Myrrh came to represent His redemptive suffering, and His birth to Die! For me, it was the most mysterious, and unknown gift of the magi. Myrrh was known to heal wounds, and had strong antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was commonly used in incense, perfumes, and ointments during Jesus’ time. But, its most notable use though, was not in healing or health, but in embalming the dead. Not surprisingly, it was one of the spices used in Jesus’ burial.
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #1:
The Franciscan family, as one among many spiritual families raised up by the Holy Spirit in the Church, unites all members of the people of God — laity, religious, and priests – who recognize that they are called to follow Christ in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi. In various ways and forms but in life-giving union with each other, they intend to make present the charism of their common Seraphic Father in the life and mission of the Church.