Sitting at Mass yesterday, hearing the story of the Epiphany once again, my mind focused in on the Star. This star was the light that led the Magi to Jesus; once, long ago. We all know that this star which shone so brightly was not the end of the story. In fact, it was merely a new beginning to the greatest story ever.
We learned during our Christmas “LIGHT” gathering that Jesus is the Light. We explored how that Light can bring clarity to everything. How it can illuminate the good, and show us the Way. I’ve been thinking about this Light throughout the days of the Christmas season. This is after all the season where lights seem to shine everywhere: trees, windows, homes, workplaces, town centers. I tried to be mindful of them wherever I went and so they triggered my mind and brought it to the presence of Jesus in the world around me. There was one place however where I found light, that I was not quite expecting.
Sadly, during the week, my youngest and I attended the funeral of the dad of one of her special friends. As we all know, a family losing a father is a tragic and very sad event; perhaps even moreso when he leaves behind a young family. It was at the funeral service where I saw this light that I was not expecting to see. It came in the form of the gleam of an eye. Not just one eye, but many. On this day, that gleam was of understanding over shared grief. It was of compassion and care for those who mourned. It was of comfort for one another. It was of the determination of a community to surround this family with love and support on that day and in the difficult days to come. The gleams that I noticed in that church on that day came in many forms. Many came carried by tears. Many were there on otherwise somber faces. All of them revealed the Light that is Jesus.
Jesus was there that day in so many ways, but one important way in which His presence was tangible was in connections. Connections of various communities coming together to support this family and one another (family, friends, neighbors, teachers, co-workers). Jesus’ Light which was recognized in the gleam of many eyes, revealed the importance of these connections. Serving and supporting one another, especially in times of need, reveals Jesus at work in the life of a community.
So it is significant that Jesus’ Light reveals connections among us. Connections are in fact what it is all about. Connecting with others and even more importantly, connecting with God.
When I entered St Catherine’s for Mass yesterday, I found myself once again surrounded by these gleams. On this day, for me they were happier gleams. They were the gleams of gladness in seeing friends. The gleams of recognition of the people who I don’t know personally, but see regularly at Mass. The gleam of welcome as students enter the church and wave hello. These gleams reveal the connections that are so important in our parish community. Jesus’ Light is revealed in these connections as he shows us the Way.
Connections within communities reveal Jesus to the world. He said it Himself, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (MT 18:20).
I am so happy to be a part of our community as we work, learn, and grow together to reveal Jesus’ Light to the world. At this month’s Gatherings, we’ll be talking about how we can better know and understand the Light. I’m looking forward to sharing this time with you.
Until then, Happy New Year friends! May your 2015 be filled with many blessings!
P.S. Enjoy the rest of your Christmas season!! (Remember, we have 6 days to go!)