Christ our light, reveals meaning and purpose, identity… Look Up!
What are the stars in my life? How and to what is God calling me currently? Where does he want me to find him, to serve and follow him? Do I look up and follow like the wise men or look down and ignore like so many of the Jews and their religious leaders? Some have their priorities already fixed and so have stopped or have never even started to look and listen. The wise men did not know where the star would lead them. They just followed it to where God would have them go, to Jesus.
QUOTATION FROM SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL: (Constitution on The Church and the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, #45) For God's Word, by whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh so that as perfect man He might save all men and sum up all things in Himself. The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the longings of history and of civilization, the center of the human race, the joy of every heart and the answer to all its yearnings.
Intellectually, spiritually, theologically, philosophically… we have the greatest understanding, potentially, of the breadth and depth of the revelation of Christ and how through Christ our origins and our end our linked. Christ is, as the Book of Revelation puts it, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning, and the end. We have the greatest understanding of Christ’s Kingdom, the Church that you and I are a part of, extends through all time and all space. We are citizens of the world's only universal Kingdom.
QUOTATION FROM POPE JOHN PAUL II: (Beginning of his first encyclical, On the Redeemer of Man, 4 March 1979, #1 - first sentence) The Redeemer of man, Jesus Christ, is the center of the universe and of history.
In St Peter's Square, in Rome, there stands an ancient Egyptian obelisk - a single block of granite in the shape of the Washington monument, almost 100 feet high and weighing 330 tons. It is the oldest obelisk in Rome, dating from about 1850 BC. It stands as a sort of witness to our history. The obelisk was originally built in Egypt, then moved to Rome by Emperor Caligula and subsequently left in ruins by the invading tribes such as the Berbers, Germanics, Celts, Iberians, Thracians, Illyrians, and Sarmatians. Overgrown and half-buried near the old Basilica it laid for 1000 years after the fall of the Roman Empire, until Pope Sixtus V had it re-erected in the center of the plaza of St. Peter’s Basilica as part of the Vatican expansion. Instead of being a symbol of human failure and fallen civilizations, it became a symbol of the power of God and the enduring Kingdom of God on earth. Now it is topped with a bronze cross, and inside that bronze cross is a small fragment of what is traditionally believed to be the true cross.
Today’s culture is in some ways devoid of real meaning. In other ways it is plagued with myriad choices competing for attention, all of them attempting and yet failing in various ways to respond to the deep desire of all people to have meaning and to know their purpose. Meaning and purpose which can never be disassociated from identity. Knowing one’s identity in the light of Christ necessarily leads to knowing ones meaning and purpose… not to mention, the meaning and purpose of all of creation.
If we believe God is the Creator of Heaven and earth, and he came in Person to teach us and save us, why do we think we need gimmicks to understand his will for our lives? He’s already given us all the answers we need in Sacred Scripture. We have just to ask him. God has blessed us with his Church to help us understand his will. Sometimes we need a little guidance to see that it may not be that God is not answering, but that we don’t like what he is trying to say.
Through His Word and His Church Christ can be our guiding star.
Fr. Blair Gaynes has been in the Diocese since 2008.