Gospel – Matthew 2:1-12: The Magi adore the Lord made manifest
“The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world,” as he is adored “by the wise men (magi) from the East” (Catechism paragraph 528).
Pope Benedict XVI commented upon the meaning of the magi’s gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh:
These gifts have a profound significance: they are an act of justice. In fact, according to the mentality prevailing then in the Orient, they represent the recognition of a person as God and King, that is, an act of submission. They were meant to say that from that moment, the donors belonged to the sovereign and they recognize his authority.
In the same way, the Catechism teaches that we “render to God what we as creatures owe him in all justice” (2095) – first of all, adoration:
To adore God is to acknowledge him as God, as the Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful Love…
To adore God is to acknowledge, in respect and absolute submission, the ‘nothingness of the creature’ who would not exist but for God. To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself…confessing with gratitude that he has done great things and holy is his name. The worship of the one God sets [us] free from turning in on [ourselves], from the slavery of sin and the idolatry of the world.
Question for reflection: In what ways do I adore the Lord?