This week we recall the Three Kings who saw a light in the stars and decided to follow it, leading them to the Christ Child. In their search they found themselves in the palace of the King. Herod was not about to have someone threaten his power. However, the Kings, or the Magi having encountered the simplicity of the Child brought gifts of God, Frankincense. Gold and Myrrh. After their encounter it was now God who directed their thoughts and direction and the Angel of the Lord instructed them to take another route.
These men, these astrologers are key figures in reminding us and encouraging us to follow Christ at the true light of the world and to let our light shine brightly as well. The world had been in such a need and desire for great change. The corrupt government which dominated the known world brought great oppression and suffering, all were in hope of something new, someone new that would rule in a different way. And so the start was the sign, and they found in the home that the star had indicated the new born son of God.
Sisters and brother the power of that same light shines in each of us as we are all a new creation in Jesus Christ. That very light must shine within the heart of every Catholic, every Christian who professes faith in Him. In the midst of darkness light shines and dispels the obscurity of night. Not just physical darkness but spiritual darkness. Many find themselves living in spiritual darkness that allows them to hide from fear, darkness that can blind them from the truth, and the darkness that comes from falsehood and deceit.
We as a Christian people are called to find in our worship and the living of a faith a light that can truly illumine our lives. The three kings worshiped the Lord and Savior and the spread the good news and truth of who they had encountered. This must be the task of each of us. To find in our encounter with Christ and our true worship of Him who is God the ability to face what lies ahead of us. Worship and prayer gives us the ability to face the road that lies ahead.
Pope Francis remind us of the importance of our worship as Christians, “In the Christian life, it is not enough to be knowledgeable: unless we step out of ourselves, unless we encounter others and worship, we cannot know God. Theology and pastoral effectiveness mean little or nothing unless we bend the knee; unless we kneel down like the Magi, who were not only knowledgeable about planning a journey, but also capable of setting out and bowing down in worship.“
My sisters and my brothers be profoundly open to this new form a worship, not to simply know the truth that is found in our Christian faith, but to move out into the peripheries and meet the other in their journey, what ever it may be. It is here that we can enter into a profound sharing in the Divine Life with God, that our worship before the Lord, especially in the Eucharist, also impels us to bow down in our service of our sisters who are marginalized, poor and suffering, to see in the eyes of our brother who is a stranger to us, maybe different than us and comes from a context and life that we cannot understand. It is here that our worship becomes complete. To meet Jesus and worship Him, must plunge us into the depths of the others context that we also meet again the Christ that is present in their suffering and struggle.
“Dear brothers and sisters, today each one of us can ask: “Am I a Christian who worships?” Many Christians pray but they do not worship. Let us ask ourselves this question: Do we find time for worship in our daily schedules and do we make room for worship in our communities? It is up to us, as a Church, to put into practice the words we prayed in today’s Psalm: “All the peoples on earth will worship you, O Lord”. In worshiping, we too will discover, like the Magi, the meaning of our journey. And like the Magi, we too will experience “a great joy” (Mt2:10).” Pope Francis
As we let our little light shine in 2021 let us be assured that it is from our worship and caring for others that the light shine within us. This light coming from our worship and praise of our mighty great God can truly change our lives. Time and again in my prayer and worship I have renewed strength to not only face the challenges before me, but to embrace them and see in them God’s gift of loving pressure and power to shape me and strengthen me for whatever God has ahead in store for me. Find in the one that we worship. like the Three Wise Men, the well spring of peace and joy facing and embracing the life that lies ahead.