Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time
There was a Youth Club in the London Church of St Alfege Greenwich, where the same Pop Music records were played, endlessly. One was called Look for a Star. It begins as follows: “When life doesn’t seem worth the living, and you don’t really care who you are, when you feel there is no one beside you, Look for a star!” I heard it a hundred times before realizing that the Star referred to was the Star which led the Wise Men to God Incarnate, in Bethlehem! Before we journey through Lent let the star again lead us.
In the 1960s everyone, was eagerly searching for something, wondering if life really was ‘worth the living’. So many people, young as well as not-so-young, felt there seemed to be nothing in life for them, and no one to guide them, apart from the Wisdom-of-the-Age, which assured them that Sex, or Fame, or preferably both were ‘The Answer to all Life’s problems’; but, as many especially the girls, discovered–it wasn’t true!
The Wise Men were Searchers, who used the wisdom of both past and present in their searching, with God leading them to discover two vital Truths. First, that though they were wise, they didn’t know everything. Secondly, that it’s always wiser, when searching for truth, to look upwards, as well as downwards; and away from, rather than into ourselves. It’s only by getting ourselves out of our own light, that we can see God’s “Guiding Star” leading us to find what, or rather Whom, we’re looking for.
Look for a star continues: “When you know you’re alone and so lonely, and your friends have travelled afar, There is someone waiting to guide you, Look for a star!” Like the Wise Men, the Youth of the ‘Swinging Sixties” often felt lonely and bewildered as do people of today. They are told that it’s by following everyone else in the same direction they’d be guaranteed that perpetual feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction that all crave. But it won’t! When the truth dawns, that they lack the ability, perseverance, or resources, to get what they’d been led to think would be theirs by right, they feel deeply disillusioned, for instead a “Real Star” to guide them, they have been chasing a Fantasy.
The final verse provides God’s Answer –both to all mankind: “Oh! everyone has a lucky star, that shines in the sky up above, and if you wish on a lucky star, you’re sure to find someone to love, a rich man, a poor man, a beggar, no matter whoever you are, there’s a friend who’s waiting to guide you, To look for a star“. Not just a ‘Friend-for-Life-till Death-us-do-Part’, but for ever –because God has Himself conquered Death, on our behalf.
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus says, “I am the Bright and Morning Star… let all who are thirsty come: all that want it may have the water of life – and have it free”.
Our Life’s Journey lies along a ‘steep-and-narrow Way’ and is a hard and slow one for us all whoever we are: This is the journey of Lent when we are all like those Wise Men of the Epiphany, following the Morning Star to Jesus, where our Heavenly Father reveals especially in the Passion and resurrection, His plan to gradually transform us by slow stages into the perfect likeness of His Son. We have His Word for it that we shall not only discover Him; we shall discover our own true self which we’ve been searching in vain. Christ is that Bright and Morning Star in the heart and soul, which is our destiny from the instant that we were conceived.
Fr. Francis Gardom