-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at USCCB.org
-I will be celebrating mass this weekend at 5:30 on Saturday and 9:30 and 12:30 on Sunday
We use the word "star" to indicate somebody in our culture who is very bright and attractive. So we have rock stars, Olympic stars, movie stars, rising stars in politics, etc. Like the star of Bethlehem, these cultural stars are bright and attractive-they draw our attention and we are drawn to them with affection and affirmation.
Unlike the star of Bethlehem, the cultural stars are drawing us and pointing our attention and affection to themselves. The light and attraction of the Star of Bethlehem was appreciated, not for its own sake, but for that to which it was pointing. The star of Bethlehem was drawing the Magi to something greater than its own brightness -to God himself, The light of the world.
The first reading today speaks of the city of Jerusalem as beholding the light and becoming transformed by the light into the light itself: you shall become radiant at what you see. The birth of Jesus Christ as a little child is the revelation of the light of God's love. In faith we become radiant at what we see.
By faith and baptism we are enlightened by Christ and we become the very light of Christ, as St. Paul tells us we are "light in the Lord". But, like the star of Bethlehem, we are called to shed our light in the world and by attraction draw others, not to ourselves, but to Jesus Christ-the true light of the world.
So, we are to become stars: bright lights in the Lord drawing others from afar to closeness with Christ our Savior. Is there any radiance of the light of Christ in our lives as individuals and as a community? Can we, in this year of faith, grow the light of Christ enkindled in our hearts by baptism? Can our faith community become a draw for the nations to come close to Jesus Christ?
Get into the ring! How this works...
This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!