Fulfilled in your hearing
Epiphany years ABC
Journal to Bethlehem
Scripture commentaries have little to say about the star of Bethlehem. Reference is made to the book of Numbers, chapter 24:17 and to the “star” and “staff” that will rise from Jacob to rule over all the nations. Astronomical references are also given: Halley’s comet in 12 BC, a conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in 7 BC or a supernova recorded in 5 BC.
Frederick Larson’s 2007 DVD “The Star of Bethlehem” provides the most beautiful and detailed explanation for what guided the Magi from Persia to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. But the greater beauty that emerges between the various explanations is that none of them can be proven. The best and truest Biblical teachings, motifs and prophecies always have a little play or ambiguity in them. Just enough wiggle room or stretch to allow for multiple fulfillment, connections and realizations. However, the beauty of not being “provable” frustrates our neurotic anxiety about showing that the Bible is true.
Whatever the star of Bethlehem was it was definitely not as striking as our Christmas cards because Herod had to ask the Magi when it appeared. The messiah’s star was a subtle convergence in plain sight of common things. So too are our vocational cues. Good vocational cues or signs have something in common with an old saying in romance: “To the whole world you are just one person, but to me you are all the world.”
Prayer to God makes us more sensitive to subtle cues and pokes from God. Or are these pokes from our own soul? That you will have to figure out.
A great habit for a discerning person is to chart each day the subtle signs that occur to them or in them that indicate a meaningful pattern or constellation. Then pray to interpret and discover the greater pattern that is unfolding in your life. Journal and share with trusted friends of faith and invite their feedback. That’s how you can journey/journal from your Persia to Jerusalem, outsmart Herod (fear) and end up at the Bethlehem of your vocation, the place where your flesh becomes the love of God for the world.
By Mark Blom, OMI – Vocation Director for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate
Feel free to contact Fr. Mark for advice about discernment and vocation direction. He can meet with you by phone to conduct a short vocation assessment to help you find your way. Contact him at email@example.com to arrange for an appointment.