Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Gifts of the Magi

Joseph and Mary may have sold the gifts of the Magi and given the proceeds to the poor. But we will never really know. From Irish Central:
I've done a little research on the subject down the years of my interest in this matter and the findings are quite amazing.  Gold is gold, of course, and always precious.

Look at the market price of it nowadays.  But back then in Joseph's time gold was only trotting after the spices in real value. A gram of myrrh would cost you an ingot, an arm and a leg.That is if you get it at all.

Frankincense was only a small fraction less expensive. The gold was the least of the three gifts in real terms at the time!

At the time of Christ's birth, for whatever reason, myrrh was scarce and hugely expensive. It is obtained from small shrubs and, apparently, has a wide range of uses, including medicinal purposes especially in Chinese medicine to this day.

The astronomical price for the spice in that era made it equivalent to the price spike for Black Tulips on the Dutch bulb markets many centuries later. A carpenter in Nazareth with gold, frankincense, and myrrh had to have been a wealthy man indeed.

Given such a difficult start to his mortal existence, and such a cruel ending, is it not pleasant to reflect that the childhood years of the Babe born in Bethlehem in a stable are quite likely to have been extremely comfortable and pleasant indeed.

They call those the Hidden Years and we know nothing about them, but Joseph was a tradesman and tradesmen internationally are canny folk.

That gold, frankincense, and myrrh was not wasted. You can be sure and certain of that. (Read more.)


Patricia Vandeberg Becker said...

I prefer Fr. Richard Simon's observation that, rather than making the Holy Family comfortable, these gifts probably supported them in their flight into Egypt. The frankincense and myrrh were healing gifts, and so besides being symbolic, may have also been used to help others who were sick or poor. I like to think that some of the myrrh was used when St. Joseph was buried.

elena maria vidal said...

How beautiful! Thank you! I prefer that explanation, too.