Life & Soul

Forget New Year’s resolutions – just surrender to Christ

The Epiphany of the Lord
Is 60:1-6; Eph 3:2-3 & 5-6; Mt 2:1-12 (Year A)

“Where is the infant King of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.”

Matthew’s infancy narrative gives us the familiar story of the Wise Men who had travelled from the east in search of the infant king. Their search mirrored the unresolved longing of sinful humanity.

Our hearts are restless until they rest in God. For us, as for the Wise Men, that search finds its ultimate rest in the incarnate Son of God.

“And there in front of them was the star they had seen rising; it went forward and halted over the place where the child was.  The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling on their knees they did him homage.”

For us, as for the Wise Men, the journey into the presence of God must become the overriding preoccupation of our lives. The wise men studied the skies and searched for a star. We seek the Lord in humility and attentive prayer.  He guides our lives through the Scriptures, his living Word. In the Eucharist he sustains and feeds us, making us one with his death and resurrection. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit he speaks to our hearts, guiding us to his presence in each unfolding day.

Christ alone is the guiding star of our lives. He who came from the Father makes us one with himself, becoming our sure way to the Father. Ours is the joy promised long ago to God’s Holy City. “Arise, shine out Jerusalem, for your light has come, the glory of the Lord is rising on you, though night still covers the earth and darkness the peoples. At this sight you will grow radiant, your hearts throbbing and full.”

At the beginning of each new year we are invited to make resolutions that will guide us through the year. A concentration on what we might achieve generally leads to disappointment. Let us rather surrender to the Christ whose birth we have so recently celebrated. It is in him, in Paul’s words to the Ephesians, that we become parts of the same body, and receive the same joyful promise made to the prophets and Apostles long ago. It is in him, and in the power of his Spirit, that we can achieve infinitely more than we could ask or imagine.