At this time of year, Christmas decorations are going cheap - and not just the robins (sorry, couldn't resist). We've a tradition of buying some sort of star decoration each Epiphany and this year I found this little glass angel (in case you can't see he is holding a star) from Belarus - half price!
So, a last look at Epiphany's gifts this year. On Sunday night we watched the Epiphany Mass from St Peter's Rome on EWTN. I was struck by many things in the liturgy - first by the "announcement of Easter" where all the forthcoming dates of moveable feasts were solemnly sung by the deacon: Ash Wednesday, Easter, Pentecost, right through to next Advent Sunday. A real sense of the new year unfolding - the path stretching out ahead: what will it bring? But God will be walking it with us.
During the Mass Pope Benedict ordained four new bishops, including his own private secretary Georg Gaenswein. it was incredibly moving to see the candidates lie prostrate on the floor as waves of the litany of the saints rolled over them. It reminded me that this is where all ministry begins: in the humility of our smallness and connectedness with the Earth, and utterly dependent on prayer and grace.
In his homily the Pope said this: "If you live with Christ, bound to him anew... then you too will become wise men. Then you will become stars which go before men and women, pointing out to them the right path in life. All of us here are now praying for you, that the Lord may fill you with the light of faith and love. That the restlessness of God for man may seize you, so that all may experience his closeness and receive the gift of his joy."
Something touched my heart in those words and I felt them (please understand me - I know I'm not called to be a bishop!) addressed directly to me. Ah, that's the grace I want and need in my ministry of teaching and spiritual direction. Wisdom - oh yes... And to be a star - in the old sense where the word meant planets too. I have no light of my own but long to reflect the light of Christ my Sun.
I know some of you, fellow bloggers, have been thinking about a "word" for the new year. I'm still pondering that for myself, but the image of that ordination is one I want to carry with me through the year. Wisdom and star; humility and outpoured grace.