by Mary Lou Kownacki, osb
Today is the feast of light.
When Robert Louis Stevenson was a little boy he lived in a house on a hillside in Scotland. Every evening he would watch the lamplighter walk through the streets in the valley below lighting each of the village street lights. “Look, Mother,” he would say, “Here comes the man who punches holes in the darkness.”
Epiphany celebrates the time when God punched a hole in the darkness. The story tells us that Magi in the East saw this sign of God — a bright star — and left everything to follow the Light of Salvation. The gospel tells us too that the star which the Magi saw “filled their hearts with delight.”
On the days following Epiphany, we might look to the heavens for a sign that we can follow through the rest of the church year. May I suggest the “morning star.” The star that we see right before dawn is really the planet Venus, the brightest of all stars and planets. Venus is, of course, names after the Roman god of love and beauty. This star, which exists between the world of dark and the world of light, leads us into light.
Each day when we gaze on it — either in the sky or in our hearts — we can be reminded that we are “morning star” people. That we are to be bringers of light. That we are to follow love and beauty to the ends of the earth. That when others gaze upon us, their hearts should fill with delight. That we are to be a bright star of dawn, seekers who punch holes in the darkness.
*This reflection is from Pax Christi USA’s Advent reflection booklet, Awaiting Christmas: Beauty Ever Ancient, Ever New – Advent Reflections 1997, by Mary Lou Kownacki, osb and Nancy Small.