Remembering you can only see the star in the darkness:
Be willing to be led by Mystery
Share your gifts
Pay attention to your dreams
When faced with a problem, find another way
Reflecting on the ups and the downs of 2016, I find myself longing for the feast of the Epiphany and all the wisdom it carries with it. The advice gleaned from the Magi story feels like a way to step into 2017 with hope whether it be my personal life, religious life, or the life of the world.
Living in Chicago facing the reality of the most deaths from gun violence in decades, I ask myself what can I do? Teaching in an immigrant community with a looming new political reality that campaigned as anti-immigrant, I wonder what’s my role? The Magi have the start of the answer: find people to journey with and seek together to find another way. In what feels like dark times, the willingness to be led by the Mystery of God is essential. There must be a rhythm of contemplation and action, a way to sink deep into Spirit and then rise up to act. I find myself searching for that rhythm…longing for it.
From my viewpoint as a young-ish sister looking at our current reality in religious life, the advice from the Magi feels like solid ground to stand on. It’s a time to seek. As the needs of the world are changing so is religious life. We need to trust and be willing to be led through those changes with open minds and open hearts. Possibility abounds. Change is essential for life. We need to journey together with our charism community and with each other across congregations. We need both. Community is what allows us to share our gifts more abundantly. Giving Voice is a cross-congregational community in which dreams are given attention and voiced. It’s a space to speak them to a group who will understand, encourage, support, and join in. Finally, the long history of religious life shows that when faced with a problem, sisters are experts at finding the other way!
So perhaps 2017 needs to be the Year of the Magi. Remembering we can only see the star in the darkness, may we seek, trust, be willing to be led by Mystery, journey together, share our gifts, pay attention to our dreams and when faced with a problem, find another way.
By Sister Jessi Beck, PBVM