Seeing For the First Time
If longer titles were allowed in the writer's world, this reflection would be entitled: “Finding the Star-- Not Knowing It-- And Wishing It Were Otherwise.”
In the familiar story of the Magi, we actually are reading our own story. On December 25, we celebrate God's coming to us. On the feast of the Epiphany, we reflect what it means to make a journey in search of God. Those who study human behavior tell us that, even though it may appear otherwise, generally speaking, we never really make a wrong turn. This is due to the bubbling spring inside of us that directs our course. In his Spiritual Canticle , St. John of the Cross sets out in search of his heart's love with no other light to guide him except the light that burns within. Along this line, the ancients felt that we all have a star within us that is a reflection of the star in the outer sky.
At any rate, the Magi left their familiar surroundings and faithfully set out to find that which seemed to be within. The way was long and hard. Often their feet were tired. In the face of uncertainty, there were days when their hearts were heavy, and their spirits wavered. Being far from their homeland, they were frightened, not knowing if they had made the right decision. Where would this star take them? We could also ask: “Where did they find the courage?” However, it did help that their feet were pointed in the right direction. Although the way was rocky, it led them straight to God, which proves that God desires to be found.
Jesuit Karl Rahner points out that “whoever has once poured out their whole life for the star, to the very last drop, has already encountered the adventure of their life in that single instant.”* It is true. Every once in awhile, we do experience the whole of our life in one single event, or one moment. Often these little glimpses are enough to help us keep going.
It behooves us, then, to reflect on where that star has taken us thus far, and to review the little world wherein we find ourselves. Maybe, we have what we have been searching for and do not know it. Perhaps, we should thank this kind star. It has been very faithful. It may have been the force that carried us forward, even when we did not want to go in a certain direction. It will never leave us. It will always be there for that next step. In turn, the star only asks that we take nothing with us that will weigh us down. And it tells us to travel on with peaceful abandon, trust and optimism. With these, our hearts will be lightened, in the face of whatever may come.
*Karl Rahner, S.J. The Great Church Year . ( New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1993) p.105.
Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.