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Sunday, January 6, 2002

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Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6
Psalm 72
Matthew 2:1-12

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more than star-gazing

"We observed His star at its rising and have come to pay Him homage." —Matthew 2:2

The star of Bethlehem rises in each person's life. The star may rise in the form of God's whisper (see 1 Kgs 19:12), a miracle, a tragedy, a surprise, a revelation, a person, or a prayer. When we observe the star rising, we must follow it to Jesus. Despite the sacrifices and persecutions which we must undergo in following the star, we must "rise up in splendor" when our "light has come" (Is 60:1).

It is so easy to be a spiritual "couch potato." Our natural tendency is toward inertia. It is exhausting and painful to follow the star. It's so much easier to stare at the TV and settle for the darkness. "The judgment of condemnation is this: the light came into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were wicked" (Jn 3:19). "See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears His glory" (Is 60:2).

"The light is among you only a little longer. Walk while you still have it or darkness will come over you" (Jn 12:35). "While you have the light, keep faith in the light" (Jn 12:36). "Awake, O sleeper, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light" (Eph 5:14). Compelled by love (2 Cor 5:14), follow the star.

Prayer:  Father, I will do anything I can to bring Your gospel to all nations.

Promise:  "The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts; the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute. All kings shall pay Him homage, all nations shall serve Him." —Ps 72:10-11

Praise:   Praise Jesus, the Light to the nations, the Hope of Israel, our risen Lord and God! (see Lk 2:32)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001