UP Catholic 01 15 2016 E Edition Page 8

8 January 15, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org Rvbmjuz gvsojuvsf bu xipmftbmf qsjdft A Catholic family owned & operated company since 1979 Members of the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan Ejojoh Sppn Pggjdf Gvsojuvsf Nbuusfttft Vqipmtufsfe Tfut Ljudifo Dbcjofut Cbuisppn Dbcjofut Cfesppn Mjwjoh Sppn Cretens Furniture Factory & Showroom Qfsljot Spbe Qfsljot NJ xxx dsfufotgvsojuvsf dpn N G Tbu Mpehf Dbnq boe Dpuubhf tuzmf gvsojtijoht T wo boys were on their way home from school on a snowy afternoon when they de- cided to cut across a field. They also chal- lenged each other as to who could walk the straightest path. One lad very carefully stepped one foot in front of the other and proceeded. The other boy saw a star on the horizon and took his first step directly toward the star. As he kept his eyes on the star he made rapid progress across the field. When both boys turned and looked back they saw one rather jagged line and another that was straight and true! In the Epiphany account we learn of wise travelers from the east who made their way to Beth- lehem. They, too, kept their eyes on a star and reached the house in which Joseph and Mary were car- ing for Jesus. They gave him gifts, worshipped him and returned to their homes another way. Their experience transformed them. Wouldn't we like to know the rest of the story? The poet, Robert Frost, offers this advice; So when at times the mob is swayed to carry praise or blame too far, we may choose something like a star, to stay our minds on and be staid. I think most successful people will report that they set a goal for themselves and work steadily toward it. What is the star that shines for us? Is it not the gift of baptism? One who is baptized has a dimen- sion different from the non-baptized. Father David Knight explains that by baptism we are called to make five choices to be 1) Christian, 2) disciple, 3) prophet, 4) priest and 5) king. In the Rite of Bap- tism the new Christian is reminded that he/she is made one with Jesus under these five calls. We are made one with Jesus, sharing his life and hence being a son or daughter of the Father. We thus enter into a oneness with every other baptized person (that is what makes us a church). This is no private calling or affair. Consider the opening rite of the Mass: I confess to you, my brothers and sisters - and I ask you to pray for me. Everyone is praying that same prayer, so you and I are asked to pray for each other. In the common prayer which the priest prays, are we conscious of praying for everyone else in that congregation. Just as being a member of a family makes us one, so baptism, while eminently personal, can never be a private matter. (This is an important reason why baptism should be celebrated in the presence of the whole community.) Together we are Christ for the world. The word, disciple, is often misused. A disciple is one who learns from the teacher; only having learned does one become a follower. For this reason a baptized person is chal- lenged to learn more and more each day - about Jesus, the Church, morality, theology, etc. There is always so much beneath the surface that we are never fin- ished. Furthermore, what we learn must become part of our lived understanding. What is a prophet? A prophet is one who sees clearly and shares the vision with others. The prophet affirms what is good and true, and calls what is not good or true by its proper name. When we read the prophets of Israel we hear them constantly calling the people back to God. A prophet is a witness. It is awesome to realize that whatever we do and say we are giving witness, either to the love and care that God has for us or we are giving a false message. Hence the necessity of making contact with God at the beginning of the day, to get our marching orders so to speak. How are we priest? How many of the baptized tend to see worship as a boring obligation rath- er than the great privilege that it is? Do we value being able to worship without fear all our days? Would we stand tall if ISIS called us into the public square or would we turn and run away in fear? Are we conscious of what we are saying amen to? It is very hard to keep our minds on the prayers of the liturgy, but every effort we make has value. Yet, in spite of our limitations, we offer, with Jesus, the great prayer of praise and thanksgiving. Finally, as king, by baptism our privilege is to en- hance the kingdom, the reign of God. Every person, young and old, average or well-educated, is a work- er in the kingdom. If our society is not Christian we share the blame. There are so many today that are literally dying inside because they do not know their dignity and call. We have work to do. What is our star? It is none other than Jesus. In our history there are many men and women who show us by their lives and example, but Jesus is always our aim. May I close with a line from the film, Little Boy? The elder Mr. Mashimoto stoops to eye-level with Little Boy and says: Do not measure yourself from your chin to the ground. Measure yourself from your chin to the stars! Ponder the wisdom of this advice. To follow it will change each of us personal- ly and guide our relationship with others. Finally. Here is advice from St. Bernard, Respice stellam. Voca Maria. Or, Look to the Star. Call upon Mary. May your New Year have all the joy which a rela- tionship brings. Appreciating baptism in the light of epiphany REFLECTIONS FROM NORTHSTAR Regis Walling Including Massage Therapy WE ARE MADE ONE WITH JESUS, SHARING HIS LIFE AND HENCE BEING A SON OR DAUGHTER OF THE FATHER.

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