Stars to your beautiful and Epiphany

Yes, I said “Stars” because we are in the business of becoming stars before Christmas ends and Easter begins. As Magi we came to Christmas seeking the New Born King in our lives. We have a task to do before Lent begins.

“A people who walked in darkness has seen a great light;
For those dwelling in a land of deep gloom, a light has shone” (Isaiah 9:1)

In the past the Catholic Church celebrated Advent and Christmastide as being the first two seasons. “Epiphanytide,” a third Christmas related season, ran until Ash Wednesday. Today “Ordinary Time” fills the gap between the Baptism of the Lord and Ash Wednesday.

We need a new emphasis on our role in the Epiphany event. We need to become stars that announce the Birth of Jesus to the world.

“How beautiful on the mountains,
Are the feet of one who brings good news,
Who heralds peace, brings happiness,
Proclaims salvation,
And tells Zion,
‘your God is king!’” (Isaiah 52:7)

That is basically our job as Magi, to be the Stars that shine in this world of darkness. To be the happy feet that herald the joy, peace and the forgiveness Jesus came to bring.

The green colour of Ordinary Time in church liturgy represents growth and renewal as we study the childhood and public ministry of Jesus. But the beauty, excitement and promise of the incarnation is not to be forgotten.

We need to herald the Good News of Christmas to a world that too quickly switches off the “Glory to God in the highest” and “Holy Night” of Christmas. We do this by being witnesses in our faith and actions. To be a star we need to reflect God’s presence in our lives.

So, we continue to seek God in our Sunday and weekday prayer and witness. We continue to offer back to God by sharing our goods and talents with the world around us, and we keep the spirit of Christmas alive in ordinary times.

The journey to stardom is not too difficult if we walk with the Lord. We have an advantage the Three Kings or Magi did not have. Not only do we walk with Jesus, but Jesus abides in us. By his own invitation, if we abide in him, he will abide in us (John 15:4).

The reality of Sanctifying Grace, Jesus dwelling in us, can grow as we live the life of Christians nourished by the Word and the Body and Blood of Christ: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood / lives in me / and I in him” (John 6:56).

How much easier our journey when Jesus walks in our shoes. How happy our feet that bear the good news!

The allusion to Alessia Cara’s “Scars to your beautiful” in our title was very deliberate. As the subject of the song lyric “wants to be beautiful”, we also know no limit as we long for the sculptor to re-make us.

“There's a hope that's waiting for [us] in the dark”. We are stars and we are beautiful. The “world could change its heart”. We can go a little while longer in our pain and hunger if it will help change the world. We go forth into the adult world of Church liturgy bearing the Christmas joy of children reborn in hope. 

(563 words)

By Ken Rolheiser