As we bring the year 2019 to a close, perhaps it makes sense to take a brief walk back through the last twelve months and reflect on how our lives have changed. Where did we experience moments of growth? Where did we experience God’s grace? May we look back and count our blessings as we prepare for a New Year.
The Magi were guided by a star to Jerusalem. They were led by its light, and along the way inquired among the people where they might find the king and were thus directed to Bethlehem. I am struck by the two complementary components that were necessary for their journey: Light & Sight.
Light: the star that blazed in the sky for all to see
Sight: the effort of the Magi to use the Light to find their way.
Without light, sight is impossible. Without sight, the light is wasted. Many people saw the light of the star, but the Magi acted on it – seeking through a long journey to find the King of Kings.
God’s light continues to shine in our world today. Do we open our eyes and see with the gift of faith the wonders that the Lord sets before us? Make no mistake: we believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, the Scriptures, and our fellowship “where two or three are gathered” in his name.
We are invited to follow the example of the Magi and seek the Lord in our lives – using our senses and resources to respond to the blessings we have have received. May we use our Sight to follow the Light!
There is a grim aspect to the Gospel reading today. Innocent baby boys, slaughtered to satisfy Herod’s need to protect his ego, recall for us the reality that cruelty, hatred, evil and sin are part of our human condition. May this terrifying event inspire us to respect all life as a precious and sacred gift from God.
Stephen is the first person to give his life as a witness to his faith in Jesus Christ. He spoke with a wisdom and spirit that none could refute, and he offers us an example about how we show our love for the Lord every day.
God loves us. Plain and simple. Warts and all. God loves us and meets us where we are, not in polished perfection and immaculate attire, but in a humble manger as a displaced person. God loves us so much that he sent his Son to die and rise that we might have eternal life.
May we all drop to our knees at some point today and say thank you…