Who, And What, Is My Star ?

    When Jesus was born in Bethlehem there came wise men from East to do him homage. They were known as Magi. The coming of the Magi to the cradle of Christ is a lovely story in the gospel of Matthew. Later, legend made them kings.

    When Jesus came, the world was in an eagerness of expectation. Men were waiting for God with the desire for God in their hearts. They had discovered that they could not build the golden age without God. It was to a waiting world that Jesus came; and, when he came, the ends of the earth were gathered at his cradle.

      We find an echo of the story of the three wise men in the story of King Balak and the prophet Balaam in the Old Testament (Ref. Num chapters 22 to 24). Balak was a king of the Moabites. He feared the Israelites wanted to destroy Moab when they left Egypt under the leadership of Moses, so he wanted to destroy them first. This was just as King Herod feared the birth of the Messiah and wanted to kill him. To accomplish his purpose, Balak summoned a famous prophet, Balaam, to place a curse on Israel. Balaam was an interesting character who was capable of doing both good and evil. He was a non-Israelite and a practitioner of enchantment.

    Balaam the prophet came from the east along with two servants, thereby, making the number three like the Magi. When he came and commanded to curse Israel, the Holy Spirit foiled King Balak's efforts by blessing Israel through Balaam and foretelling the future greatness of Israel and the rise of its royal ruler. Balaam prophesied and said, "A star will come forth from Jacob, and a scepter will rise from Israel." Like King Herod, who massacred all the infants in Bethlehem 2 years-old and younger so that he wouldn't miss the newborn King, the wicked King Balak tried to do the same by using a magus (magician) to destroy the Israelites, but his efforts were once again foiled.

      This very day, joining with the Magi from the East, we are guided by the Star of Bethlehem to the place of the Savior's birth. After paying homage to the newborn Babe, our eyes must remain fixed on Jesus' star. In order that Jesus may number us among those who love him and will carry on his work, we must follow his star to the foot of the cross. It is only from the cross that that guiding star can lead us to the empty tomb, the place of Resurrection.

    Remember, as you strip stars from your Christmas trees and mangers, ask yourself: "Who, and what, is my star?" Start this New Year with some dream and some star that will guide you towards Jesus Christ, Superstar, the Light of all nations.

In the Service of the Lord,
  Fr Thainese Alphonse


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