Browsing Deacon Ernie's Reflections

1-3-2021 Feast of the Epiphany of the LORD

Last week I shared with you, some of my musings about holiness. In my experience, rooted in Sacred Scripture and the writings of the saints, I posited that the path to holiness is trod when we are faithful in our efforts to become the person God has intended us to be. Toward the end of my reflection, I explained how our bodies and emotions can be indicators of whether or not we are on a holy path. I theorized that an abiding sense of peace/contentment is a good indication that we are being true to God’s designs for us. Contrarily, if we are more often feeling anxious/agitated, in all likelihood we are somewhat misaligned with God’s plan, which gets me to the point of this reflection.

Societies throughout the world have used symbols of light and darkness as expressions of good and evil. Likewise we find stories, poems, songs, etc., in Sacred Scripture employing these symbols for the same purpose. Take the story of the Magi. The Star of Bethlehem, a symbol of light, was used to guide these holy men to Jesus. Interesting to note that the Star is invisible during the day. The point being that “light” is more clearly evident when surrounded by “darkness,” and thus “holiness” is more clearly evident against a backdrop of “evil.”  I have found that when I sin, I feel disoriented, like I’ve lost my equilibrium, and depending on the severity of the sin, I feel discontentment and shame even. Contrarily, when I follow the light of Christ, avoiding sin to the best of my ability, I feel peaceful and satisfied. While this is good, the devil is clever and he can use our feelings of contentment to bolster within us a sense of pride and self-assurance, making that which is dark appear as light.

So what are we to do? Jesus tells us:  “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12)…, and whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).

My friends, there are many ‘stars’ that appear in the skies of our lives, but there is only one Star of Bethlehem. In faith then, let us reach out to Jesus, who will show us as He did the Magi, the path that leads to Him. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Deacon Ernie

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