Watch: “I have nothing, I will offer myself” – Archbishop

A visibly emotional Archbishop Charles Scicluna quoted an Anglo-Saxon hymn stating that, “I have nothing, I will offer myself” while concluding his homily during a mass celebrating the feast of the Epiphany. He also spoke about the gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh in the form of advice to the congregation, particularly the four seminarians who were welcomed as candidates for priesthood.

A visibly emotional Archbishop Charles Scicluna quoted an Anglo-Saxon hymn stating that, “I have nothing, I will offer myself” while concluding his homily during a mass celebrating the feast of the Epiphany. He also spoke about the gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh in the form of advice to the congregation, particularly the four seminarians who were welcomed as candidates for priesthood.

Mgr. Scicluna started his homily by recounting the history of the Epiphany and the question of “Where is the one who was born King of the Jews?”. He said of this question that every person, even without knowing at points, continuously experiences a thirst for knowledge of the Lord.

The Three Wise Men, who knew that the rising star was an anomaly even by their science, according to the Archbishop, followed this thirst and undertook a great journey, not without its difficulties. King Herod, meanwhile, got wind of the birth and was as confused as all the scholars who knew the answer to the question, but chose not to seek the truth. In fact, the Kind sought to destroy the truth by sending soldiers to kill every male newborn in Bethlehem.

The Wise Men, meanwhile, demonstrated a different way to answer the thirst, with a genuine wish to praise the new King, following the star and gifting him with Gold, Frankinsence and Myrrh. The Archbishop mentioned St Gregory the Great’s interpretation of the gifts as gold worshiping Christ as a King, frankinsence worshiping Christ as God, and myrrh as a reminder that He was born man.

Turning to address the four seminarians, Mgr. Scicluna spoke of Gold representing prudence and wisdom as a gift they need to ask of the Lord, while attempting at all times to offer it back to Him. There needs to be a constant discernment, asking the Lord what He wants from them, and what He wants them to do. The Archbishop reminded them that they understand that whatever they give unto the Lord, the Lord grants them back a hundred times over.

Speaking about the frankincense, Mgr. Scicluna pointed out that it is made by taking resin from a particular oriental tree which is produced from a “wound” in the tree’s bark. This was likened to prayer coming from a wound in the heard of those who love. The Archbishop told the seminarians not to forget to seek the Lord and His love in the face of every single person on Earth.

Myrrh, meanwhile, is the difficult renounciation of human temptation. Mgr. Scicluna pointed out that the Lord said those who want to walk behind Him but deny themselves, bear their crosses daily, and then follow Him. The Archbishop mentioned that myrrh is mentioned also on Good Friday, first before Jesus’ death when myrrh and wine were mixed and given to him to taunt his thirst; and secondly myrrh was present in the emblaming fluid. The myrrh is a reminder that life is a process of constant death and burial with the hope of reawakening to life.

Mgr. Scicluna then turned to the seminarians before welcoming their candidacy to priesthood and reminded them to lift their hearts high and follow the star with will take them to the Lord. It was while concluding his homily by quoting an Anglo-Saxon hymn saying that “I have nothing, but I will offer myself” that the Archbishop was visibly emotional.

After his homily, the Archbishop welcomed seminarians Roderick Baldacchino and Jean-Claude Schembri from the Santa Katarina parish in Żejtun, Joshua Cortis from the San Gejtanu Parish in Ħamrun, and Tony Pace from the Parish of the Conversion of St Paul in Ħal Safi.