Happy New Year 2018. This weekend the Church celebrates the Epiphany of the Lord. We listen to the classic and familiar story of the “visit of the magi.” The evangelist Matthew gives us a theological insight into the person of Jesus and the activity of God. To start with, the magi are not Jews, they are noble believers in the eyes of Israel, they are Gentiles. They worship Jesus, they possess the humility of faith and the openness of mind and heart to seek and welcome the Jesus who will establish the second covenant between God and the new Israel. The magi bring gifts with them. These gifts indicate the principal dimensions of Jesus' life and mission: a) Gold is a gift fitting for a king, a ruler, one with power and authority; gold was a symbol of divinity. This Child comes to transform our perspective of wealth to treasure again the things of God, things such as compassion, forgiveness and peace. These are the coin of the realm of the newborn King. b) Frankincense comes from a small tree found only in Arabia and parts of northern Africa. The hardened resin of the plant was used as a medicine for many ailments: to stop bleeding and to heal wounds; as an antidote for poisons and as a salve for bruises, ulcerations and paralyzed limbs. This Child comes to restore and heal not just the physical ailments of those he will encounter in his gospel journey, but to heal us of our fears, doubts, to bridge the chasms that separate us from one another and from God. c) Myrrh was an expensive extract from the resin of the myrrh tree. It, too, was used as medicine but, more significantly, it was used in embalming the dead. Only royalty and the very wealthy were embalmed; myrrh, therefore, was a gift reserved for kings. This Child comes to recreate us in the life of God: his death will be the defeat of death, his cross will be his (and our) glory. The three gifts of the magi are a gospel in themselves. They honor the Child who is himself a gift from God whose love is beyond our comprehension, whose goodness knows neither limit nor condition.