The Epiphany as a Single: Finding Your Own Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh
The feast of the Epiphany might not necessarily stand out as one of the bigger, more significant days when we think of liturgical feasts.
Maybe you happen to be one of those super-on-top-of-things Catholics who coordinate their gift-giving with the day that the Wise Men brought their gifts to the Christ Child. But you might only remember what day it is when the choir sings “We Three Kings” as the Sunday Mass entrance hymn.
But the Epiphany is a special feast day for a reason. Like most feast days, reflecting on the event it commemorates can be spiritually fruitful for us.
What significance can the day the three Wise Men brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to Christ hold for Catholic singles?
Take a look at these particular gifts the Wise Men bring to Him in homage. You’ll find ways to bring your own gifts to Christ and to grow closer to Him throughout the last few days of the Christmas season (and the rest of the year!)
There’s more than one type of gold
Of the three gifts, gold is easily the most recognizable and straightforward to Catholic singles living in the twenty-first century.
There was a deeper symbolic meaning to the Wise Men’s gold. It acknowledged that Christ was a king. So your immediate thoughts of gold as a gift of monetary value aren’t wrong.
More than likely, you probably don’t have gold you can give. Even if you did have some gold handy, you obviously couldn’t give it directly to Christ as the Wise Men did.
However, it’s not too hard to see that the Wise Men’s offering of gold could be a calling for you to tithe your incomes and practice charitable giving for the support of Christ’s church or to take care of Him in the poor.
During your single years, it’s a great time to think of tithing in even broader terms. Monetary giving is important when you’re able to, but you can also give of your time while you still have some to spare.
For some, tithing time can actually be a bigger sacrifice than tithing monetary resources. Even though it might not feel pleasant or exciting, it can be a wonderful gift of self to give Christ.
Like frankincense, our prayers can rise to heaven
Frankincense was a precious substance resembling resin that showed symbolically that the Wise Men acknowledged Christ as a priest. It was used in incense, which priests offered in the Temple.
Catholics still use incense today in the church in much the same manner as it was used in the Old Testament.
The idea behind the use of incense is that the sweet-smelling smoke is symbolic of prayers rising up to God in Heaven.
If you think about the relevance of the gift of frankincense to your own life, you can take a look at your prayer life.
Are you offering up your prayers up in sincere faith, believing that God is listening? Do you believe that He sees your requests as clearly as you can see that smoke of incense rising up?
Read more: 7 Prayers For When You’re Feeling Lonely
Sometimes it can be easy to fall into complacency when it comes to prayer. The devil may tempt you to stop asking for what you need and desire, especially when it feels like your prayers aren’t being heard and nothing is changing in the way you might have hoped.
Take this opportunity to renew your faith and sincerity. Ask God to lead you to the path He has planned.
Thoughts of myrrh aren’t always pleasant, but they’re needed
The Wise Men’s gift of myrrh was symbolic of Christ’s coming suffering and death.
Myrrh was used in ancient times for embalming. Those living in the time of Christ associated myrrh with thoughts of death.
Today, you may not bee too keen on thinking about death. If you’ve had family or friends die, you may associate thoughts of death with mourning and sadness, which is natural.
But death is a big part of the Catholic faith. It’s only after death that you’ll have the chance to be finally united to God in Heaven. And it’s only through Christ’s death that you’re able to have that chance for salvation.
Catholics even use terms relating to death in the spiritual life, when talking about the need to die to self.
You don’t have to be morbid and obsess about death. But it’s not something you can afford to shy away from as a Catholic, even when you’re in the midst of such a joyous celebration of life as Christmas is.
In fact, all Catholic singles would benefit from occasionally meditating on death. After all, God holds your life in His hands and could call you home at any moment.
Sometimes, praying through thoughts such as these can help you overcome particular struggles and temptations. These prayers even help put into perspective just where you’re headed with your lives.
This Epiphany, we can aim to give Christ a true gift of ourselves. Give Him a soul ready and hopeful for an eternity with Him in Heaven.
Adrienne Thorne is a Catholic wife, mother, screenwriter, and blogger, as well as author of the Catholic YA romance novel SYDNEY AND CALVIN HAVE A BABY. She blogs about TV and Movies from Catholic perspective at Thorne in the Flesh: A Faithful Catholic's Guide to Netflix, Hulu, and More.