By: Deacon Jim Krupka
One early morning I was driving toward mass on the east end of Molokai. The countryside was dark and empty. As I topped the long sleeping volcanic mountain near Maunaloa, I saw a brilliant light in the sky. It so overwhelmed the surrounding sky that I wondered at the sight. My thoughts were that this is the Christmas star! This star seemed to be inviting me to experience something new beyond just another mass at one of Father Damien’s churches. Later I discovered that it was a new comet, the comet, Neowise. But the inspiration went beyond science.
In our gospel reading on Epiphany, God uses a special star to draw the wise men from the east to Jerusalem. They traveled in search of the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. From what we read in scripture and imagine about their journey, they did not know exactly what they would find. We hear how they encountered Herod’s court on their way. Herod shared some of the mystery. He knew there was something powerful, but not exactly sure what. We share some of this mystery. Our virtuous life of faith, hope, and love draws us toward something that we know is worth the trip. Millions before us have experienced this draw to the light, yet always bearing some mystery.
There are many shining lights to guide us in our lives. Loving parents introduce children to Jesus. There are other stars like teachers and preachers who inspire us by their faith and knowledge. We are illuminated through them to the truth of Scriptures, love of the Church, and life true to Christ-like virtues. Guided by the lights around us, we become lights to others. We affirm the value of life, proclaim the worth of humanity and distinguish right from wrong. We love with patience, depth and consistency. We act with charity, stand up for justice, find joy in good times and bad.
Please make this Epiphany more than just a retelling of the Wise Men’s journey. Find a new vision. Take a timeout to think about the light of Christ and what might be different for you in the year ahead. It is okay if there is some mystery and wonder. As you find this vision, you will be ever more a wise man or woman beaming the light of Christ.