Skip to main content

War is Over--No, wait, make that Christmas

12 days of bliss are almost gone. We watched It's A Wonderful Life Friday. And that ended our holiday movies. We won't start that cycle again until just before Halloween. The last of the presents were opened today. We had a parade with the Magi through the house. Now, we soak up the season of Epiphany and return to our regularly scheduled programming. My only hope is that at least a small part of that signal is jammed for and from my family. To end on a cliched note: "God bless us, everyone!"

Comments

Edgewise said…
Some things I've wondered about, but don't know where to look:

What's the monetary value of the gifts the Magi gave? Based on what can be extrapolated from what little we know about them (e.g., "possibly"[?] from some priestly class ["caste"?] in Persia, etc.), what would be the value of the gifts they gave the Holy Family? What would gift-giving customs, in that area of the world, dictate? Given that they're supposed to b "honoring" the "new born King of the Jews," might they have given the Holy Family a whole "lot" of gold, frankincense, and myrrh? And if so, what measurement constitutes "a whole lot"? According to some custom/rule/practice/etc., might it be that different amounts of each gift were given? (E.g., a big boxload of gold and, a "small" jar of myrrh?)

Given the best "guesstimate" of what was given, a)what would be the monetary value of these gifts today? b)what was the monetary value of the gifts when and where they were given? c)how long would the money have lasted? Some have suggested that Jesus's Parents "probably" might have sold the gifts for money. If they did, how long might this money have lasted?
Modern investing, at least as we know it, didn't really exist back then. But the Parable of the Talents seems to suggest that *something* akin to banking existed in Jesus's time, the usury prohibition notwithstanding.

Anyway, I was just wondering. Just a curiousity of mine.
I know it probably has no bearing on the Deep Question of Human Existence, or theological controversies, or anything like that.
Scot said…
Good questions, edgewise. Unfortunately, I have no answers for you. I imagine the items were probably token amounts. Beyond that. . . who knows. I believe the Magi were representing themselves and not the Persian satrap or king or whomever the ruler was at that time, so the volume/worth of the gift, while probably quite a bit for Joseph and Mary, were probably trifles to someone like Herod. This, of course, is pure conjecture on my account.

Popular posts from this blog

Worth Quoting

"Therefore whoever is not illuminated by such great splendors in created things is blind. Anyone who is not awakened by such great outcries is deaf. Anyone who is not led from such great effects to give praise to God is mute. Anyone who does not turn to the First Principle as a result of such signs is a fool.Therefore open your eyes, alert your spiritual ears, unlock your lips and apply your heart, so that in all the creatures you may see, hear, praise, love and adore, magnify and honor God, lest the entire world rise up against you." -- St. Bonaventure, Itinerarium mentis in Deum

Dirty Hands Can Save You from Hell

"Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place." --Pope Francis, Laudato Si
     Wonder and awe abound in the natural world for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

     Perhaps we are caught short by a vibrant purple emanating from the petals of a wild lupine. We might stare wide-eyed at the lazy circles of a turkey vulture soaring on thermal air currents. Even the most agoraphobic city-dweller can find something beautiful about a landscape even if it's simply the warm and varied red, yellow, and orange of a sunset glowing on a building.

     "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" asserts the Psalmist. If that verse is true, why don't we live like it? Why are we flabbergasted trying to come up with the names of the many plants and animals we pass by everyday?

     All people respond to beauty in some way or another--even those who have willingly or unwi…

The 11th Hour

If you haven't celebrated Christmas by now, you're not likely to start. Conversely, you don't have to quite let it go yet.

Fight the ahistoricity! It's a feast of twelve days and depending on how you count, this is eleven or Epiphany Eve.

In the Christian East, tonight is the vigil of Theophany.

Theophany/Epiphany are two different sides of the same coin.



The West honors the Magi--who represent all of us goyim--and the miracle at the wedding at Cana (water for wine, anyone?)

The East honors Jesus' baptism, and in more minor ways his circumcision and the Magi, too.

It's all about a manifestation, a revealing, a shining forth. The Trinity is revealed (at the baptism), salvation is revealed to all the world (the Magi), the start of Jesus' public ministry (Cana).

Just as the Incarnation honors all bodies, as the Son suddenly was born with one, so Theophany honors all the Earth's waters.

Paralleling the Jewish Festival of Lights, this perfectly winds down th…