Sunday, January 3, 2010

Epiphany blessings
Today we celebrate Epiphany, and our Gospel (Mt 2: 1-12) recounts the visit of the magi to the infant Jesus.

They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 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.

Father asked us, "What sort of gifts do we give Christ at Christmas?"  The magi gave the best of best, and fell face down on the ground in homage to the newborn Christ.  How do we give homage?
Great questions to ponder in this final week of the Christmas season.

Today we celebrate a special blessing (photo).  This is a traditional blessing of the home on Epiphany.
The inscription is made with blessed chalk over the doorway, reading: 20+C+M+B+10.
The numbers show the year, and the letters have two meanings:  They are the traditional names of the three magi (Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar).  They also abbreviate the Latin words "Christus mansionem benedicat" which mean "May Christ bless this house." 
As such, the letters recall the day on which the inscription is made (visit by the magi), as well as the purpose for the blessing.

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