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Summary: And I am not talking about retail atmospherics of pumping in scented candles and evergreen, with Christmas carols.

Epiphany—Ambient scent and music. In the beginning, Christmas was connected to music and scent.

And I am not talking about retail atmospherics of pumping in scented candles and evergreen, with Christmas carols.

In Heralding the birth of Jesus, angels sang and wise men provided fragrant gifts to the Child Jesus, creating the original Christmas ambience.

It’s about seeing the signs of God’s presence in a broken world. Isaiah reminds us that God usually works in unusual ways:

—it is the one who has no power who will turn the world upside down. God has a habit of appearing where God is least expected.

Gold is about honor and to obey Jesus the King by walking in the center of his will.

Some Protestants have pointed out, that among themselves, a false teaching has arisen called “hyper-grace.”

So great an emphasis is put on God’s unconditional love that people conclude they can do whatever they like.

Hypergrace is a form of denial called rationalization to do what God forbids.

Jesus Himself said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

And speaking of gold, God’s standard is still the tithe. 10 percent. God revealed this to His people through the prophet Malachi (3:6-12), and Jesus underscored it in his conversation with the Pharisees in Matthew 23:23.

Enlightenment of your eternal salvation in Jesus Christ is why you give your gold.

There is a summons that Jerusalem rise up and let it’s light shine and be filled with light as the center of all so that the rest of the world— on the periphery, and enveloped in darkness— can come into the presence of Yahweh and salvation.

Epiphany is the promise of the light of the glory of God and therefore enlightenment, which comes from a divine source, which attracts the nations to salvation in Jesus Christ.

What the prophet sees in our First Reading has been described as “universalism.”

The nations are welcomed in Jerusalem.

In fact, those nations that do not see the hand of the Lord in Zion’s restoration will be no more.

The surviving nations, however, are clearly subordinate to Judah. They bring their wealth to Jerusalem which will be just and holy and they too will be filled with the glory of the Lord.

Frankincense is about worship, taking more time out of our busy schedules for Eucharistic worship, individual times of adoration.

We can hear these words softly in our hearts, “This shall be a sign unto you; you shall find what looks like a bit of bread in a gold Ciborium that is the Real Presence of Jesus.”

(Real in Spanish means Royal).

The Council of Trent mentions the Magi’s worship of the Christ child as a model for our adoring him in the Eucharist.

Myrrh is about sacrifice.

At Holy Mass we thank Jesus every day for His sacrifice for us. One of the best ways to live this is to be a “a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.” (Rom. 12:1).

St. Paul says this includes our bodies in verse 1,...

and our minds in verse 2,...

indicating that the living sacrifice is our entire selves—this is what our attitude is supposed to be at every Mass; we offer ourselves with Jesus to the Father through the saving death and resurrection of Jesus: Through Him, With Him, and In Him.

The trouble with any sacrifice that’s living however, is that it will often try to crawl off the altar it’s place upon.

To remain a sacrifice upon the altar takes discipline in refusing to yield to our fleshly desires and instead follow the guidance fo the Holy Spirit, who will always lead us on the path to become more like Jesus.

This is spiritual growth, and it takes hard work on our part by the grace of God, e.g. there are many action words in St. Paul’s Epistles—things we are called to do a such as “flee,” “put on,” “do your best,” “humble yourselves,” and “build yourselves up.”

The disturbance and fear and agitation of Herod results from a lack of faith.

That creates a dismal atmosphere of salvation.

Provide fragrant gifts to the Child Jesus of gold, worship and sacrifice, creating the ambience of salvation.

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