When was the last time you followed a star? I’ve been asking myself that question since the Sunday celebration of the Epiphany. You know the story: three mystics from the East bring gifts to the King of kings whom they find resting in some straw. This wonderful story highlights the cosmic nature of the incarnation. God became flesh – not just for we who would come to believe but for the salvation of the whole world. Twentieth-century scientists have analyzed the appearance of “the star of Bethlehem.” It turns out that a celestial event did occur in the night sky in the winter of 7 BC. The convergence of Jupiter and Saturn has been documented in ancient texts and confirmed by modern astronomers. Those three wise ones knew the prophecy of ancient Israel and understood the stars as markers of the divine will. They left the considerable comfort of their nation to travel by night – by the light of a star. So convinced were they that God was revealing a great secret beneath its beams.
I think God sends us a “star” when we need some direction. There are moments in every life when we find ourselves at a crossroad and don’t know which path to take. The last star I followed took me from my home, my friends and everything I knew to be my world. It was a long trek by modern standards – a three-day drive into the heart of the Midwest. It was only a year into this journey that I discovered God’s purpose. It was on the 4th day of January, 2000 when I drove up the driveway of St. Benedict Monastery. My heart pounded as the cedar grove gave way to a country chapel. The bell beneath the cross was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. It made no sense – this visceral response. But that’s how God works sometimes – in the mystery of our feelings. God sent me a star that led me home. It came to rest over a big house of red brick and stained glass. Like those first travelers I found Him there – in their midst. When was the last time you followed a star? Epiphany is an excellent moment to give thanks for this God who goes to great lengths to lead us on.
Blessings and love to you all…
- Sister Vicki