As such, in these days before Epiphany, even as the figurines of our Nativity scenes make their journey across the room (!) to the Manger, let us make a spiritual journey with those men of faith who sought the Christ Child, "Light of the Nations, in whom [we] will find the fullest response to [our] hearts’ deepest desires". Let us orientate our lives to His ways and contemplate with awe the mystery of His saving birth.
The star, the signum fidei, as my La Sallian education indicated, led the Magi to the One who is the Morning Star which never sets. It occurred to me today just how ubiquitous a symbol the star is for the Christmas season. And yet, if that star does not lead to Christ or draw light from Him, it is just a meaningless symbol; just one of many spots of light in the nightsky. Without faith, we are like unskilled travellers, unable to navigate the sea of life and directionless; the stars mean nothing and lead nowhere. But with Christ-oriented faith in our hearts, the star has a saving significance, giving direction and leading us to the One who will save us, the One who gives Meaning and Direction to our lives:
"How bright appears the Morning Star,
with mercy beaming from afar;
the host of heaven rejoices;
O righteous Branch, O Jesse's Rod!
Thou Son of Man and Son of God!
We, too, will lift our voices:
Holy, holy, yet most lowly,
draw thou near us;
great Emmanuel, come and hear us."
From the beautiful chorale, 'Wie schön leuchtet der morgenstern', by Philip Nicolai (1597).