Catholic Faith Corner

Living in the Light
of Jesus Christ

Sea of Galilee at Sunrise

Catholic Faith Corner

Living in the Light
of Jesus Christ

The Importance of Stars

Did you know that Star Street, emblazoned with stars, leads into Bethlehem? It symbolizes the star that led the Magi to the Infant Jesus. Mary, nine-months pregnant, and her husband, Joseph, may have come down this street as they entered the town for the census. Presumably the Magi also followed this route. Sadly, the usual Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem are drastically curtailed because of the war.

Star Street in Bethlehem

In school we were pleased and proud when the teacher placed a star on our paper. It showed that we had done “stellar” work. We call people who are outstanding in their field “stars.” Today Taylor Swift is a prominent one; she graces the cover of Time as its Person of the Year. The article about her explains, “Every year contains light and dark; 2023 was a year with significant shares of darkness. In a divided world, where too many institutions are falling, Taylor Swift found a way to transcend borders and be a source of light.”

A top recognition for actors and actresses is a star on Broadway’s Walk of Fame. Movie stars and pop stars make our lives happier and brighter.

Of course, the greatest star of all time is Jesus. He is God “fallen” to Earth to save humankind.  By dint of hard work and pain, he achieved great success. Stars give off light; Jesus called himself the Light of the World. He brought us out of the darkness of sin and death and taught us truth. A star-studded sky is so beautiful that we gaze on it filled with wonder. The prophet Isaiah foretold about Jesus, “Your eyes will see the king in his beauty” (Isaiah 33:17).

We Are Stars

Scientists confirm that we are made of stardust. A whopping 97% of our bodies are composed of the same elements as the stars. Jesus said that we are to be light for the world, to be who we were made to be.

You may have sung, “This little Christian light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” How can you be a star? By radiating love to others by your smile, kind words and deeds, expressions of gratitude, and by reminding others that on Christmas we celebrate Jesus’s birth. In these ways you will lead people to Jesus like the star led the wise men from the East to him. You might be a star to someone who is finding this Christmas difficult because of the loss of a loved one, a job, or good health.

Someone, probably several people, may have acted as a guiding star for you. My mother showed me how to be kind. My seventh and eighth grade teachers (Sister Sharone and Sister John Francis) showed me the way to the Notre Dame convent. My high school English teachers Sister Laboure and Sister Leola set me on the path to writing.

Advent’s End

This week the fourth and last candle on the Advent wreath will be lit. You might have a white pillar candle in the center, representing Jesus. Strangely, this year the fourth week of Advent is less than a day!  You can make up for this by continuing to await and prepare for the day when Jesus will come in all his glory at the end of time. He will usher in the kingdom that “has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:23). Until then, keep shining!

My wish for you is that you have a Merry Christmas with family and friends and that your New Year sparkles with many blessings!

My humble Nativity set

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs: “Shepherds and Kings.” Wish it had beautiful pictures to go with it.

  • Who has been a shining star in your life?

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Jesus depends on us to spread the Good News of God’s love, offering the world hope and joy. Mary Kathleen, a Sister of Notre Dame from Chardon, Ohio, responds through writing, speaking, giving retreats, and teaching. Her motto, adopted from Eddie Doherty’s gravesite, is “All my words for the Word.”

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