Today’s Reading: Matthew 2:1-12
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, Wise Men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet:
7 Then Herod summoned the Wise Men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; 8 and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 When they had heard the king they went their way; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; 11 and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
Today’s Commentary: Matthew 2:11
Allegorically (St. Irenaeus, AH 3, 9, 2): the gifts of the Magi signify the mystery of Christ incarnate. Gold, a symbol of royalty, represents the kingship of Jesus. Frankincense, used in the worship of God, points to his divinity. Myrrh, a burial ointment, signifies the humanity of Christ, especially in his Passion and death. Morally (St. Gregory the Great, Hom. in Evan. 10): the treasures signify the gifts we present to Christ in our daily lives. Gold is Christ’s wisdom, which shines in us, frankincense is the prayer and adoration we give him (cf. Rev 8:3-4), and myrrh is our daily self-sacrifices (10:39; cf. Rom 12:1).