Three Kings, Three Gifts: Balthasar

Frankincense was the gift presented by the magi Balthasar. It was the main ingredient for incense used in the biblical Temple, made from a dried resin drawn from the craggy trees of the Arabian Peninsula (the land of Mt. Sinai). It is the smell of worship, an appropriate gift for the adoring threesome at the home of the Holy Family (Mt. 2:1-2, 8, 11). It is used in the book of Revelation to represent our prayers ascending to God (Rev. 5:8; 8:4).

All of our prayerful worship (adoration and blessing, petition, intercession, thanks, and praise) reaches its highest expression in the liturgical event of the Eucharist. What a wonderful spiritual resolution to grow in our appreciation of and participation in the Mass in 2014.

If your schedule permits, consider attending daily Mass in addition to your Sunday celebration (even if its only one or two days). If that’s not possible, consider preparing for the Sunday liturgy by practicing Lectio Divina with the Scripture readings in advance, or offering your time to carry the Eucharist to the home bound or a parishioner in a local nursing home or similar institution. A wonderful document that is worth a careful and prayerful read is Ecclesia in Eucharistia.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is the co-author of Revelation: The Kingdom Yet to Come and The Prophets: Messengers of God's Mercy. He is an international presenter for The Great Adventure Bible Timeline. Bringing a wealth of experience and insight on the Word of God to audiences across the U.S., Thomas is a repeat guest on EWTN and Catholic radio as well as a sought after parish mission and conference speaker. Thomas Smith has taught as an adjunct professor at the St. Francis School of Theology in Denver, and is the former Director of the Denver Catholic Biblical School and the Denver Catechetical School. He lives on his family ranch in southeastern Idaho and writes for his website

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  • Marianne

    On this day as we celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord, may we, like the Magi, look to the Guiding Star, the Light that is Jesus Christ, which leads us to salvation. May we grow in our prayerful worship of praise and thanksgiving to the One True God.