Starting the Year 2021 Right

by Fr. Cris Robert Cellan, SSP

The year 2020 had been a horrible year. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us to our knees imploring God to heal our land. Indeed, stripped of everything we are nothing. We’ve learned the painful way that we cannot put our security in our wealth, prestige or power. We have to be responsible stewards—taking care of our common home and natural resources.

To start the year 2021 right, it would do us well to learn from the magi. They represent the people of all races who are redeemed by the salvific action of Christ.

They see the star (Adoration)
The celestial spectacle last December 21, 2020 was no mere coincidence. According to experts that “Christmas Star” produced by the conjunction of the planets Saturn and Jupiter was similar to the star seen by the magi as if reassuring us to trust in God for our Savior has already come. 

To see the star, we need to look up. But we have been afflicted by the lean-in mentality—constantly looking down on our gadgets because of FOMO (Fear of missing out).

However, not all who looked up saw the star of Christ. A star at its rising does not dazzle but gently invites. So which star do we follow? There are magnificent comets and numerous shooting stars of success, money and pleasure. Many of us have lost our moral compass. The world is beset with growing godlessness and crass materialism. We need to rediscover our longing for God to expect the newness Christ brings. Only the star of Christ gives us genuine peace and great joy.

They set out (Mission)
Every new year is a kairos, an opportunity to be good. But it demands a decision to embark on a faith journey—taking risks and freeing ourselves from useless burdens. Herod and all Jerusalem had the opportunity but they had no courage to leave because they want to retain the status quo and stay in power. We have to go out of our comfort zone to meet the child Jesus and in finding the child we discover his tenderness and love and we rediscover ourselves.

They bring gifts (Presentation)
If you were with the magi, what is your gift for Jesus? The gospel becomes real when the journey of life ends in giving! Jesus is the gift par excellence. To give freely especially to the lost, the last and the least is a sure sign that we have found Jesus.

They departed by another way (Transformation)
No one who has found Christ is ever going to return to the old way. Every year we are given a chance to make a choice to change for the better. After surviving 2020, we sure have learned valuable lessons from the past year to come out wiser and better to face the present challenges. 

The year 2021 is a time to truly live with a sense of purpose—to be more loving, more generous, more forgiving, and more full of God.