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Fr. Ben 4th Sunday of Advent

We need stars to show the way!

One of the major images of the Christmas story is not a person, or an event, but a star. In our solar system the sun is the most important star. It is a raging ball of fire at a distance of 92,955,807 miles (149,597,870 kilometers) from earth. It is just the right distance away so that it provides light, warmth, and gravitational stability for all life to exist on earth. Without the warmth of this star life would not exist. It is an essential star. In the Gospel story of Christmas, it is not the sun that is the important star but, rather, it is what we have come to know as the “star of Bethlehem.”

If you were fortunate enough to be at last year’s Christmas concert at Our Lady of Victory, presented by the seventh and fourth grade students, you experienced a wonderful event. The children were outstanding and so confident. What a great bunch of kids. The featured image of the fourth grades Christmas pageant was the stars, and in particular, the star that led the wise man and shepherds to Bethlehem to worship the Christ Child. Without the star no one would have found their way to Bethlehem. The star pointed the way and guided the kings and shepherds to the Baby Jesus.

As the children presented their story, I couldn’t help looking around at the audience gathered there. An audience made up of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers, and sisters. Actually, it wasn’t an audience, it was a family, it was a family of families. But that wasn’t my thought, my thought was, all these people here are the stars in the lives of these children. I wonder if they know that, and I wonder if they know how important they are.

Children need stars to follow and the most important stars in their lives are you. Children follow where you go, you show the way. You show them how to live, how to love, how to be a good loving husband or wife, a loving mother or father, a loving son or daughter, a good person, a kind person, a courageous and compassionate person. Who you are they will become, where you lead, they will follow, what you do, say, they will copy. Children need stars to follow, and they need those stars to lead to a life worth living, values worth having, a character well formed in love. Most of all, they need to follow you, their star, to the same Child, the same God, that the original star led kings and shepherds to find in Bethlehem. They need you to lead them to God – who is life – the only life worth having and the only life worth living.

God sent you into their lives to be a star – now, show them the way!

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