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Jan 6, 2014

Three Kings, Three Gifts: Caspar

Thomas Smith

Finally, Caspar unwrapped his gift of myrrh for Christ and his Mother. Many have pointed out that myrrh was used, along with other spices, for preparing the bodies of the dead (John 19:39), and this may have been a foreshadowing of his death for us. It is worth our prayerful reflection – Christ was born to die, for each of us. But myrrh was also used for healing wounds, and as a painkiller (Mk 15:23). It was a means of showing mercy to others. What a transformative year 2014 could be if we increased our participation in Christ’s mercy through word, deed and prayers. It is the urgent message of our time. In fact, many believe the last handwritten words of Blessed John Paul II, were on this very topic. Among his papers, aids discovered an unfinished homily he had intended to give at a new Roman parish Padre Dio Misericordioso (God, the Merciful Father), a community he had established in the Jubilee Year. It was to be delivered on Divine Mercy Sunday, 2005. All of us know, of course, that our beloved holy father made his journey to the house of Our Father on the vigil of that very feast, leaving the message undelivered. Later, Benedict XVI, honoring the wish of his dear friend, visited that parish and delivered the pontiff’s final words. It is clear, his last message was not just for a new parish in the suburbs of an Italian city but for the world, for us.

His voice still echoes in my mind, “To humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness and fear, the Risen Lord offers his love that pardons, reconciles and reopens hearts to hope. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace”. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!” May we carry Blessed John Paul II’s words in our hearts and in our lives this year, completing our triple offerings to our Lord Jesus of Word, Worship and Works of Mercy.

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