08 January 2012

A star in Raymond

This morning I accompanied His Excellency Bishop Paprocki to Raymond, Illinois where he celebrated Mass at the parish of St. Raymond.  It was my first visit to this beautiful church, but it certainly will not be my last.

For many years now the faithful there have hung a lovely star over the tabernacle during the Christmas season (I was unable to obtain a picture of it).  It struck me as an excellent piece of popular devotion filled with good Catholic fun and profundity.

Saint Matthew tells us that the star preceeded the Magi until it rested over the place where the child lay (Matthew 2:9).  What better place then to place a star than over the tabernacle where the Child truly is?

In his Mssage for the World Youth Day 2005 which was celebrated by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in Cologne with the relics of the Magi, Blessed Pope John Paul II said:
The Child, laid by Mary in the manger, is the Man-God we shall see nailed to the Cross. The same Redeemer is present in the sacrament of the Eucharist. In the stable at Bethlehem He allowed himself to be worshipped under the humble outward appearances of a newborn baby, by Mary, by Joseph and by the shepherds; in the consecrated Host we adore Him sacramentally present in his body, blood, soul and godhead, and He offers himself to us as the food of eternal life. The Mass then becomes a truly loving encounter with the One who gave himself wholly for us. Do not hesitate, my dear young friends, to respond to Him when He invites you "to the wedding feast of the Lamb (cf Rev 19:9). Listen to him, prepare yourselves properly and draw close to the Sacrament of the Altar.
Yes, brothers and sisters, let us follow the Star to the tabernacle and there fall down in humble, joyful and loving adoration.

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