Where the Star Stops


 Scripture      Matthew 2: 1-12

 Reading           

 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them,

 went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped

 over the place where the child was.

 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.

 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother;

and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then opening their treasure chests,

 they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

 


Reflection

On this feast of the Epiphany we celebrate the manifestation of God to all peoples of the earth. And REMARKABLY, God appears, manifests, as an ordinary child, docile and allowing himself to be led by the events and circumstances that surrounded him. Yes, God manifesting in human form. God, a child, dependent, "loving the world so much ", even a messy world, with violence living beside gentleness and terror surrounded by deep peace. Truly, our God comes to be one-with-us, Emmanuel. Will we be one-with-this God in our humanity today?

 

It seems to me that we could reflect upon this mystery of Epiphany as a feast day for all of us ‘risk-takers’ who have set out on that search to ‘see’ for ourselves - the Messiah, the Christ, the Holy One of God. Once that inner stirring, that strange mysterious ‘calling’ was enkindled within our hearts, we too had to set out into some very new and unknown territories. The risk of our journeying into "foreign lands” was always at a cost of leaving behind the safety and security of what we knew, had been taught, those conventions that ruled our lives and provided us with a sense of safety and security. Once we set out following that bright shining inner ‘Star’ that was guiding us with promptings, yearnings for 'the more', we trusted this God of Mystery with many leaps of faith. Of course, many of us have been travelling on this spiritual journey for many decades and while it has at times, made us vulnerable, yet, I believe we are amongst the most creative and joyous of pilgrim travellers. We hold a treasure. We have hope and expectancy.

 

Throughout all ages, this quest for searching and finding God has most captivated the human spirit. Like the holy Augustine, we know that "our hearts will be restless until they rest in Thee.” It is God who created this deep holy longing within us and God will never disappoint us. The magi journey had a “stopping place”. What I seem most struck with this year as I contemplate Epiphany is that the magi knew they had found the Someone they were looking for … when the star stopped over the place. The place being an ordinary home with a mother, a father and a baby. They entered this space - this home - and knelt down in awe and adoration. They knew they had arrived and found the Source. May we all come into this ‘Home’ space and humbly embrace the Gift and the God of our longing. What gifts will we offer here?

 

I invite you to ponder this beautiful prayer-poem composed by Joyce Rupp. I pray 'a star' come out for you this new year. But let us come together, like the three magi from the east,  and gather into small little communties with three faithful companions. Travel this spiritual journey in togetherness. In this way, I see how we can be a light and a gift to our world. The witness of these small clusters of three wise men and women appearing here and there throughout our world can point to a 'direction' that has proved safe and trustworthy. The 'company of three' holds each other in fidelity and offers encouragement when the road get rough and hearts grow dim.  

 

One of the gifts of this feast is THREE TRAVELLERS ON THE ROAD TOGETHER found the Christ! God wants to use us as instruments on that same journey today. We can be those sources of inspiration and encouragment to each other as we continue to face with courage and steadfastness all that will be required for following that STAR!   

 

Creator of the Stars, God of Epiphanies

You are the Great Star

You have marked my path with light

You have filled my sky with stars

naming each star

guiding it

until it shines into my heart

awakening me to deeper seeing

new revelations

and brighter epiphanies.

O Infinite Star Giver

I now ask for your wisdom and courage

to follow these stars

for their names are many

and my heart is fearful.

They shine on me wherever I go:

The Star of Hope

The Star of Mercy and Compassion

The Star of Justice and Peace

The Star of Tenderness and Love

The Star of Suffering

The Star of Joy

and every time I feel the shine

I am called to follow it, to sing it, to live it,

all the way to the cross and beyond.

O Creator of the Stars you have become within me

an unending Epiphany.

 

 

I hope a STAR comes out for you today...

 

  

Carrying Grace        What gifts am I carrying as I follow that Star to the Source?

Comments  

#2 eleanorw 2011-05-23 16:15
I was very touched reading about the Magi,their fidelity and journey, having only a star to guide them. I carry the gift of the Good news of Jesus the Emmanuel. In times of sadness and loneliness,and when there seems no direction, Jesus fills me at the same time and calls me to bear the news of his love and caring for his people.I keep listening and in the silence, I hear the sound of his love.
#1 arletteh 2011-01-03 12:31
I carry the gift of COURAGE, to be more present to my inner self,and the gift of HUMBLE TRUST as I ask the Spirit of Jesus to come and be there,also.Then more courage to follow the path indicated!

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