Jan 2 2013

Christmas reflection: Following the stars

Larry LivingstonEvery Wednesday during the Advent/Christmas season, we will post a reflection in hopes that it may help you on your own journey. This week’s reflection is offered by Larry Livingston, CFCA director of church relations.

“They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.” (Matthew 2:10)

One of the few things we are told about the mysterious group of visitors called the Magi is that they saw, in the ascension of a star, the sign of a new king.

According to the story of the Epiphany in Matthew’s Gospel, that star led them to the Christ-child, but the details of their amazing journey remain a mystery.

Perhaps that lack of detail is one reason why the story of the Magi has so captured the imaginations of Christians throughout the centuries. Each of us must answer for ourselves why we think these travelers followed the star. And, in so doing, we are invited to reflect on the ‘stars’ that we ourselves follow.

Our stars come in a variety of forms and, like the literal stars in the heavens, they can both illuminate and consume.

Some people follow stars of greed and selfishness while others are guided by stars of compassion and generosity.

Whatever values form the trajectory of a person’s life, there can be found that person’s star.

Some of our trajectories lead to happiness and some to self-destruction, but an important thing to keep in mind is that trajectories can change.

CFCA sponsor with sponsored friend

Gerald Klein, CFCA sponsor, meets his sponsored friend Herbert on a CFCA awareness trip to Africa.

The ability to correct the course of one’s life is one of the blessings of being human.

We have been given by God the capacity to learn, to grow, and to accept liberation from things that hold us bound. We have the freedom, when we so choose, to follow new stars.

Sometimes the choice of a new star comes dramatically, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Often it is simply a matter of figuring out that the star one has been following isn’t worth the journey.

And sometimes a new star has been there the whole time, gently waiting to be discovered.

In the CFCA community, the relationship between a sponsor and a sponsored friend can be one of those gently waiting stars.

In our Hope for a Family sponsorship program, there are many blessings to be discovered for both sponsors and sponsored, always inviting but never forced.

As with the Magi, sponsorship is a journey that one begins without knowing the destination but confident in its goodness.

As we bring to a close this season of Christmas, let us continue to pray for one another that the stars we each follow may lead to joy and truth.

Let us pray that each of us has the wisdom to recognize when our own stars have led us astray, and the courage to change our trajectories when needed.

Most of all, let us pray that we may be loyal and worthy companions for one another, always alive ó as were the Magi ó to the presence of the sacred along the journey.

Related links:
Awakening our hearts to love [1st Advent reflection]
‘For it is in giving that we receive’ [2nd Advent reflection]
‘God dwells within the human family’ [3rd Advent reflection]
Christmas on the practical, everyday level [4th Advent reflection]
Christmas reflection: Feast of The Holy Family [5th Advent/Christmas reflection]

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