Happy New Year! We joyfully begin 2020 by celebrating the Solemnity of the Epiphany of our Lord, our parish feast day! In doing so, we recall how the Magi, guided by a star, journeyed to find the Savior and upon encountering Him, as the gospel tells us, “went home by another way” (Matthew 2:12) – in other words, their lives were changed. However, as we can well imagine, their journey was not easy. They knew what they were looking for, but had no idea how to get to it. It was the light of the star that helped them navigate through distance, danger and darkness to the Light they longed for. It was their faith in the star that made it happen.
In many ways we are the Magi. We are looking for greater light, purpose and fulfillment in our life. Like them, we know what we want deep down, but often have no idea how to get to it. As such, we too need a star to guide us. Thankfully, we too have received a star - the teachings of the Church! These teachings, handed down by Jesus to the Apostles and subsequently to us through their successors, are intended to guide us to what we most intimately yearn. Those teachings, like the Magi’s star, also demand that they be followed in faith. If we follow them we will ultimately encounter what we seek. If we don’t, we will be left to our own aimless wandering.
While the holiday season will certainly jingle all around us with its endearing sights, sounds and events. which we should enjoy, let us not forget to also celebrate Advent and take advantage of it. Let us gaze through its window lest we miss the beautiful transformation that it can affect in our souls and lives. If we embrace it, we will within ourselves see colors subtly change, hope gradually dawn and the Son warmly wink at us.
As we thank the Lord for this New Year and, on this special feast day, the gift of our parish as well, let us resolve to deepen our journey of faith and rejoice in what these teachings reveal. Let us allow them to guide us through our own distance, danger and darkness. Let us more so walk with faith in them. If we do so, we too will surely go "home by another way."
Father José Alvarez