Looking into the Sky

C6F419F0-5C81-4A26-B890-76C7BCD762FCFor Christians around the world, the end of the Christmas holiday occurs on Epiphany, the 12th Day of Christmas. It commemorates how a star led the Magi, or the three kings or wise men, to the baby Jesus. Epiphany is about finding Jesus — again — in a fresh new way, looking into the light that has the power to change our lives.

In his homily on Friday before Epiphany, Pope Francis called on the faithful to be like the Magi, who, he said, continued to look at the sky, took risks and set out bearing gifts for Christ.

If we want to find Jesus, we have to overcome our fear of taking risks, our self-satisfaction and our indolent refusal to ask anything more of life. We need to take risks simply to meet a child. Those risks are immensely worth the effort, since in finding that child, in discovering his tenderness and love, we rediscover ourselves.

Looking into the sky and taking risks is a way of life for women. We have found the need to look up, above the hurts of our lives. We have looked into the sky to escape misogyny, discrimination, disrespect and abuse. We have looked into the sky to search the heavens for hope when we have felt only despair.

It has not been for us just a flighty inclination to retreat from unpleasant realities through fantasy. Instead our sky gazing has been a way to pour our souls into the kind of change that makes life worth living. We have dreamed improbable dreams. We have been wise. We have been brave and persistent. We have taken risks and defied whatever was holding us hostage. We have been determined emboldened and empowered.  We have been inspired and ennobled. We have changed our world.

Like the three Wise Men, we journeyed, wise women in search of the child that would more fully empower us. Our desire and longing led us, like a fire burning within, until we found the flaming star in the night sky. And there we found Jesus —  again. So we celebrated. We rejoiced, because Jesus wanted for us a new day, a new life of respect and well-being and inspiration and hope. That is epiphany. Amen.

Celebrate!

image

I celebrate that today is a brand new day for my Granddaughter, for all little girls with big dreams. She has now seen a woman chosen as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. When Hillary Clinton spoke night before last, I had a big lump in my throat. I felt the swelling of emotion overtake me. My body shook as I tried to hold back a full-on crying event. My eyes filled with tears.

I was watching history, and with the ears of my heart, I heard the shattering of glass. I heard the voices of Fannie Lou Hamer, Geraldine Ferraro, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and so many other trail-blazing women. I remembered Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell, organizers of thousands of African-American women who worked for suffrage for all women.

I thought of the words of Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Most of all, I thought about my granddaughter, Jordan, who now sees that a woman can hold this nation’s highest office. And I am grateful that she will not feel and experience all the limitations I experienced in my lifetime.

It’s a fresh, new day in America. It’s a fresh, new day in my heart. Thank you, Hillary, for standing firm in following your dream. You are among an incredible circle of women who persisted and who made change in the world for all of us. I celebrate you this day!