Last Thursday night I ventured out into the cold to view the meteor shower. During the half hour I spent with eyes glued to the sky I sighted two shooting stars. Then I went inside and saw one more on the Internet, thanks to the live camera NASA had set up in Alabama. I’m glad I took the time to do this, not only because of the meteors, but because I hadn’t seen the night sky for awhile. My old friends Orion and Cassiopeia were still there. I was reminded of the time I traveled across Texas one night on unlit country roads. I was totally amazed by the thousands of twinkling stars thickly filling the sky layer upon layer. Did you know that Psalm 8 is called the astronomer’s psalm? It expresses my feelings perfectly: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;/what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?”
Stars play important roles in Scripture. God directed Abraham to look at the starlit sky and know that his descendants would be as many. One descendant would be the superstar Jesus. He is called the bright morning star, or daystar, (Revelation 22:16), which could refer to the sun or the planet Venus because it shines right before sunrise and heralds daybreak. There is the star that led the magi to Jesus similar to the way the north star guides sailors to safe harbors. Then too Scripture says, “Those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.” (Daniel 12:3) And in the Book of Revelation the woman, who is interpreted to be the Blessed Virgin Mary, wears a crown of twelve stars.
Jesus the Son of God, is like the sun, our closest star which rises each day and gives us life with its energy, light, and warmth. This is why on December 21, the darkest day of the year, we pray the following O-Antiphon:
- O Morning Star,
- splendor of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
- Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
How will you shine like a star today?