07 Jan 2017

This Week Letter – January 8, 2017

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Dear Parishioners and Friends,

On the Feast of the Epiphany we come together with the Magi from the East to Bethlehem to “make a bow to the Lord.” We want to see and honor the Son of God, born in the greatest humility, which becomes a gift for all: Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the mysterious visitors from other lands – all of us. What led us to Christ? What was our guiding star, leading us to Bethlehem? For many it was their parents, good people, friends; for others, teachers at school, perhaps even their own suffering. There are also people today, for whom God is still veiled by their disbelief, laziness, indifference, insensitivity, envy or simply sin. The glow of light can not break through this veil! Though, for a moment, think about what hides God from me today?
The glory of the Lord shines upon the earth. In this way, not only Christ came into the world – a light in the darkness, but also appeared to all nations. The night was radiant with an unusual light. Swedish Carmelite Wilfrid Stinissen portrayed this truth perfectly in the book “The night is my light.” He presented the view of St. John of the Cross in the difficult states of mind that touch man in his earthly journey. The author considers various aspects and the deep purifying action of God, ie. “The dark night”. The book is an invitation to surrender to God’s guidance, the encouragement to read the meaning of each experienced suffering.

The star that led the three Magi to Bethlehem, is a lesson also for us, the people of the twenty-first century. This leads us to solve our problems in life not in disaster movies, heralding the inevitable end of the world, causing anxiety or escapes into astrology. The star directs our gaze to Christ – the light of the world. St. Gregory of  Nazianzus reminds us that “at the moment when the Magi, guided by the star, adored Christ the new King, astrology came to an end, because the stars were now moving in the orbit determined by Christ. It is not the elemental spirits of the world, the laws of matter, which ultimately govern the world and mankind, but a personal God who governs the stars, that is the universe. And if we know this Person and he knows us, then we are not slaves of the universe and its laws – but are free. ”

In the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Child, we see a complex symbol of love, prayer and suffering. The magi are our first representatives in the crib of Christ because first by the light of a star, they recognized Him as God. We also know that the Magi were warned away from Herod and by another way they returned to their homes. Reading deeper, it must be said that anyone who meets God is transformed, and he begins to walk in other ways. The meeting in Bethlehem radically altered each man. The Star of Bethlehem reminds us that one who seeks God will not hear “You seek me in vain.”

God bless!