January 5, 2020


+  Pax et Bonum!    Peace and goodness to each of you this day!

A couple of years ago, one of my Godson’s father, approached me about going in with him, on one of those Power Wheels motorized toy trucks, for his son and my Godson.  You know, those Power Wheels toys, don’t you?   The kid actually rides in the little vehicle and drives it by themselves.  Now, my Godson was going to be four years old.  And his Dad had found him a perfect black Dodge Ram Power Wheels pickup truck.  It would be his son’s first truck!   Now, apparently his wife, the boy’s mother, has said no way, to this idea, but the Dad told me, that if I was involved, as both Godfather AND priest, that his wife wouldn’t have an issue with the toy truck.  Oh, the power of a Roman collar.   So all this happened.   We bought the little truck.  We wrapped it up.   And I went over to their house on Christmas night.  And my Godson opened the big box in front of all of us.  And it was exciting.   We took pictures.    And then, while his Dad and I were putting together the brand-new Power Wheels Dodge Ram pickup truck,  I started to notice something over on the side.  There was my Godson, having an absolute blast, with the big box that the Power Wheels truck had come in.  He was hiding in it.   And flipping it over.  And rolling in the box like it was tank tread!   He didn’t need that toy truck.   The truth is, that when we got finished putting together the truck, my Godson sure seemed to like the box the truck came in, more than he liked the actually truck that he could drive.  His Dad and I were devastated!

I don’t know, whether, after Mary and Joseph opened the Three King’s gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, if Baby Jesus played with the boxes that those gifts had come in, but my guess is that yes, he did!    In fact, to a little boy, the king’s beautiful coffers, or containers, or boxes, were probably much more interesting that gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  My bet, Jesus played with those boxes for days!   I wonder if the Three Kings were disappointed?

The gifts that they brought to the new born King of the Jews, were important!  The Gold represented His Kingship.  The Frankincense, which was a kind of incense, was a symbol of worship and prayer, and represented His Divinity.   And Myrrh, was an embalming oil, reminding Mary and Joseph that even at the beginning of His life, we are all heading back to God at our deaths.  Sometimes, the meaning of the gifts are summed up as Gold, symbolizing virtue, and Frankincense symbolizing prayers, and Myrrh symbolizing life and suffering.  And while these gifts would have had great meaning for Mary and Joseph, it’s easy to see why Jesus would have been more interested in the boxes!

As we celebrate this Feast of the Epiphany, and as we start to close out our Season of Christmas, let me ask you this: What did you give Jesus for Christmas?   No, I’m not asking what you gave to your neighbor, or to your parents, or to the poor?    Very specifically, what did you give to Jesus, Who’s Birthday it was?   Did you even talk to Jesus on His Birthday?  You know, we were all so busy, running around, cooking, cleaning, delivering presents, entertaining,  DID YOU even remember to talk, to pray, to the Birthday Boy on His Birthday?


Seems to me, that as we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord today, His revelation by the light of a Star, to the nations, and as we recall the gifts that the Three Wise Men gave to Jesus two thousand years ago, at least they brought Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.   Did we give Jesus empty boxes for His Birthday?   No, it’s true.  Think about this.  What did you give Jesus for Christmas?  Did you give Him your time, your talents, your gifts?  Did you give Him your prayers?  Did you give Him your love and gratitude?  There were and are so many things that we should have done for Him for His Birthday.   And a lot of us, did not!   Maybe, just maybe, Christmas really can’t be over yet, because quite possibly, we still may have one more gift that we need to take care of,  and that’s OUR GIFT for the newborn Son of God!    We could have taken care of everybody else this Christmas, but what did we do for HIM.   In this last week of our Christmas season, let’s focus on what should have been in our boxes for Jesus this Christmas.   Not Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh, but the love and commitment that they symbolize!

You know, kids do love empty boxes.  You give a kid an empty box and you can open up an entire world of imagination!  But our Lord, well, our Lord loves real gifts.  And just like we probably wouldn’t have appreciated an empty box for a Christmas present, nor does Jesus.  Christmas is not over.  We’ve got one more week.  Let’s remember Who’s Birthday it is and ask ourselves what we are doing for Him?

+  May God bless us on this Epiphany,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…            AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…           Pray for us !!!