Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Matthew 2: 1-2 - Advent

Scripture Matthew 2: 1-2

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him."


On Christmas Eve as evening settled in and darkness tightened its grip, a kind of quiet calm seemed to descend over all of us. There was nothing more to do now except to wait patiently and, of course, it was time to switch on the light of the Christmas Star on the roof. Even though it was just the flicking of a switch, for us it was a special moment, because in the gathering darkness it reminded us what Christmas was all about. As the golden light in the tissue-papered star cast its warm glow just enough to light up the garden and a bit of the roof it was comforting and gently soothing. I have always loved that custom and I think it is one of the richest of our Christmas symbols.

Later in the night before we left for the midnight Mass I would love to slip outdoors by myself and walk around the silent neighbourhood by myself. There were quite a few houses with stars above their doors. They seemed rather dim yet they shone boldly in the gloom. They became a kind of silent prayer for me. They spoke of the “light that shines in the darkness and which no darkness can overpower.” They spoke of the light of faith that gently consoles and beckons. They spoke of hospitality and safety: if Mary and Joseph arrived in our neighbourhood that Christmas night, they would not be consigned to a stable. There would be shelter and a warm welcome for them in our homes.

Yes, I loved those Christmas stars shining over the doors of our homes, and I still do. And yet, somehow, I find them less comforting now than I did then.

Today I cannot help thinking of all those for whom the Christmas Star seems to be a mockery: the homeless, travellers who live in squalor by the roadside; the homeless men, women and children who end up, for whatever reason, on the streets of our cities with nowhere to go; the marginalized and those who experience disdain or rejection or exploitation.

I hope we hold on to the custom of the lighting up our Christmas Stars outside our homes on Christmas Eve. And may the Light that comes to us at Christmas dispel all the darkness of selfishness and insensitivity that lurks in our hearts.

Source: Fr. Edwin D'Souza SDB - www.donboscosmadonna.org

No comments:

Post a Comment