“Shine forth, Lord!”


star-of-bethlehem-1

Today, we celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord Jesus!

Just what a “star” means to each of us? Stars may mean the celestial bodies of the universe, the celebrities we like and imitate, a symbol of award or trophy, and many meanings. Stars catch the attention of a viewer, and it means something to that viewer. Stars may be used to decorate apparel or home furniture. It is interesting that with these given meanings on what a “star” is, we may have a common attitude about it after all.

First, a star makes us look up and look forward. Literally, it’s true. You know it is a star when you look towards it. When we look towards it, our heads are titled upwards, not downwards. For those who have wild imaginations, they would even use hands to “touch” it, as if it really can be reached. Some would even jump like a kid, wishing that kid had a spaceship so that he or she can get it.

Second, a star evokes feelings of joy, excitement and ecstasy. Seeing a shooting star for the first time creates joy. Being able to handshake or tweet or have a picture with your favorite celebrity creates esteem. Being pinned with a star on a medal, or given a certificate or trophy with star on it feels being awarded and recognized. Scientists, astronomers and geophysicists feel amazed and awed what stars can do to a solar system.

Third, a star makes us do something. A shooting star makes us wish for something we like to have. Your favorite celebrity, especially when he/she is in a film, makes you look, act, speak and think like that celebrity (hard core fan?). Receiving a medal or certificate with a star on it motivates you to do more and better. The brightness, size and heat that the stars create made scientists launch probes and space missions to study them.

Just exactly what were the attitudes that the three Magi or wise men had when they saw the Star? I bet it’s the same with the observations we have above. And that Star did something wonderful: it drew the attention of people who care so much about its message. To some, it was mere coincidence or an astrological event. And that Star did something more: it has evoked faith! The star revealed something great! The intensity of the Star attracting the Magi and the shepherds was great yet sublime, especially for those who hoped for the great Anointed One.

God must have been really awesome to put that Star above in that “silent night”, shine its best, and lead others to see the Child Jesus – and pay homage to Him. Even now with faith, that Star evokes imaginations of a Bethlehem-experience, thereby creating an intense devotion to the First Christmas, and shares it to others through charity.

 

A blessed, Christ-filled Christmas to everyone!