Follow the Star.
I remember when I was at St Michael’s parish in Annandale, VA, and I learned that Mother Theresa of Calcutta had just died. I looked up into the sky and I saw a very bright star that caught my attention.
I remember thinking to myself that star is Mother Theresa. The next day, I went to a family house for dinner and the mother said to me, “Did you see that beautiful star last night?” She went on to say, “ I think that star is Mother Theresa.” I left that night convinced that the Heavens proclaim the Glory of God.
In the Gospel this Sunday, the three wise men said to Herod, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”
The star is an image of our faith, our heart. If we are ever to see Jesus in our brothers and sisters, we must first see Him in our Hearts. St. Augustine says, “Return to your heart.”
Following the star is an image of following our hearts, listening to Jesus who speaks in the still small voice of our hearts.
King Herod who desired to kill the New Born King is an image of the world. King Herod is an image of all the forces in the world that want to snuff out prayer, listening to God and seeing Jesus in our hearts.
You can ask yourself, “Did King Herod destroy the Christ Child in me this Christmas Season? Was your Advent a time of buying gifts and parties? Or did you find more time for prayer and helping those less fortunate than yourself?”
We read in the Gospel, “And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star and on entering the house, they saw the Child with Mary His Mother. Then they opened up their treasures and offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” The house is an image of our hearts. We find Jesus when we enter into the house of our heart.
We read in the first reading, “For the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you.” The sea is also, an image of the heart. The hidden place where Jesus lives. When we have the courage to follow the star and enter into the sea of our hearts, we will see the riches of God’s Love given to us.
And in the ancient world a king owned everything, so the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh represent our very selves. The wise men used these gifts. The gifts were the tools of their trade. In giving the New Born King these gifts they were giving them their very selves.
What is the greatest gift we can give Jesus? It is the gift of our hearts.