January 06, 2016

A Fresh Look at Myrrh

Odilon Redon;  Dante et Béatrice (1914)
Myrrh can be a bit of a downer, seemingly implicitly attested to by Isaiah in the upbeat first reading on the Epiphany that mentioned only the bringing of gold and frankincense.

I thought briefly that maybe the omission was due to the people of the Old Covenant mostly measuring success in terms of earthly rather than eternal life and thus death was without much silver lining.

I even wondered if perhaps the wise men's additional gift of myrrh was a cryptic message to Jesus, relayed to him much later by his mother, that he was to go the way of suffering and death rather than being a worldly messiah.

But wait, there's more! (say like in those infomercials). Because then I came across this excellent post from Henry Dieterich and realized how that's only the half of it...

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