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from 
THE CROWN OF THE YEAR
Weekly Paragraphs for the Holy Sacrament
By Austin Farrer
Dacre Press, Westminster
EPIPHANY 

THE Magi took the lids from their urns and unfastened their caskets, when they presented the symbols of universal homage to our infant prince.  But when a woman came to anoint the king in his royal city, she shattered her alabaster jar, that she might pour the precious spikenard on his head.  There was a sympathy between her action and the approaching Passion: the perfume of manís homage could not be offered to God, without breaking the veined alabaster, the body of the Son of Man.  Our incense may rise, like that of the Magi, from unbroken vessels, if we present our bodies a living sacrifice.  Yet a living sacrifice is also a sacrifice, and is made so by some participation in the shattering of the vase.  Christ, sacrificing himself, joins us with him in sacrificing him; Christ, sacrificing himself, sacrifices us, for he has made us parts of him.  We come to offer our homage to Christ, but his star has brought us, and the breaking of his mortal vase has furnished all the perfume of our offering.