Star Light Star bright, the first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight… I remember hearing this rhyme on many occasions when parents try to quieten their child when they are either ready for bed or to distract them from a situation of discomfort. Today we are presented with the star light, star bright…the star that led the Magi to a child wrapped in swaddling clothes. It was not an ordinary star…it was something new that it evoked curiosity in the wise men and they had only one wish, to discover its meaning.

The Feast of the Epiphany celebrates God’s revelation of His only begotten Son to the nations. But more than just a mere revelation, the Epiphany of Christ reminds us that this Christ whose birth we just celebrated continues to lead us on that path of life. Just as the wise men, Herod too was curious… where was the Christ born?

In the season of Christmas, we have been reminded in our liturgy of the birth of Christ in history. But what we celebrated was not just something of the past but it is also of the present. Jesus was born in Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago but what we just celebrated is the Emmanuel – God with us!

For many families, the Solemnity of the Epiphany marks the time to put away all the Christmas decorations. I remember in my growing years that the enthusiasm of putting up the Christmas tree is now replaced with the procrastination of bringing it down. This is probably due to that fact that the mind already anticipates the ordinariness of life after all the feasting and merry making.

The challenge is now… how do I bring the birth of Christ that I have just celebrated into my daily life? The birth of Jesus brought a renewed sense of hope to the people of his time. Similarly, the celebration of the birth of Christ must make a difference in my life. A question that we all need to ask as we start putting away the decorations is… how has the celebration of the birth of Christ made a difference in my life? If we do not pause to reflect, then the celebration is just like any other…a time of merry making. Even though our celebrations recall the birth in Bethlehem, we cannot but acknowledge that the celebration becomes more meaningful when we remind ourselves that Christ was born in our hearts.

Even though the decorations are safely put away till we bring them out again towards the end of the year, let us not forget that the child Jesus came to us so that he could make a difference. This can only be possible if we allow Jesus to make a difference. Star Light Star bright, the first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight… that Jesus makes a difference in my life.

Solemnity of the Epiphany
6 January 2013