Thursday, 24 December 2009


It's awe-inspiring to gaze into the sky on a dark, clear night!
It's so vast. We can see myriads of stars, far too many to count, millions of miles away. Astronomers tell us there are very many more, even further away, which we can't see with the naked eye. The light from some stars has travelled such a great distance that the stars ceased to exist long before their light reaches us. The sheer vastness of the heavens fills me with a sense of wonder.

In recent yeas flight into space has given us a completely different perspective. Now cameras in space can relay pictures of the earth on which we live. From space the earth now appears like a small disk.

Seeing these photos of the earth has helped me get myself and the rest of humanity into perspective. Certainly we're so tiny that none of us could be seen from space. And there are millions of us, each with his or her own thoughts and desires, fears and longings. In comparison with the immensity of the universe we people seem so puny and unimportant -mere specs of dusts.

But then I remember Psalm 8.
"When I look at the heavens the work of your hands, the moon and the stars that you have established; what is man that you are mindful of him, mortal man that you care for him? Yet you have made him little lower than God, and crowned him with honour and glory,"
(Ps. 8. 3-5).

This psalm has led me first to be filled with wonder at the power and glory of the creator of heaven and earth. The heavens do, indeed, proclaim the glory of God!
Then I'm amazed that God should not only notice us, but that he should care about us. He doesn't see us as a shapeless, anonymous mass, like the millions of grains of sand on the seashore. To God we are individuals. He knows and loves each one of us as someone special and unique. That's even true if you are an 'identical' twin! Jesus tells us that our heavenly Father knows every hair on each of our heads, every sparrow that falls, and that we are worth more than many sparrows.

But what really shakes my complacency is that although we people must, from a distance, appear like an anonymous swarm of ants the Son of God himself has joined the human race. He has lived among us, shared our human way of life, with all its limitations. The unapproachable Almighty God of majesty could be seen, heard and touched. He could be embraced with love or nailed to a cross out of hatred. Almighty God could not have paid us people a greater compliment than by becoming one of us. Now he is forever a member of the human race, forever committed to us. Never has he written any of us off as worthless, beyond hope. He has shared our human life, so that we could share his divine life. The craziness of uncalculating love is the only reason why God has gone to such lengths.

As I gaze at the stars I realize that the heavens proclaim the glory and majesty of God. That cuts me down to size. Seeing the pictures of the earth, taken from space, has made me realize how insignificant we are in the scale of the whole of creation.
And yet, and yet God is mindful of us, loves each one of us and raises us up to share his own divine life. He has given us a dignity we do not deserve. That blows my mind and leaves me speechless with wonder and gratitude.

Star gazing has led me to the babe at Bethlehem, just as it did the Magi. There we meet Almighty God, the creator of heaven and earth, lying, helplessly in a manger. With the shepherds and Magi come let us adore him!

Isidore O.P.
Peter and Isidore wish all our readers
Every Blessing for the New Year

Next week Peter will be Lost for Words

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