01-05-2020Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi

Dear Parishioners,

On behalf of the parish community, I welcome Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted to St. Benedict. He is here this weekend for my installation as Pastor during the Sunday 11:00 am Mass. I thank the Bishop for his confidence by entrusting me with the responsibility of serving the St. Benedict Parish community. I also want to thank all of our parishioners for their love, care and support throughout this past year. I continue to rely on the grace of God, your prayers, and support as I move on to the next stage of my ministry with you here at St. Benedict.

This weekend we are celebrating Epiphany. This special feast commemorates the visit of the Magi to the Baby Jesus. Epiphany simply means the manifestation of Jesus Christ to the gentile world. One common question many people ask about the celebration of Epiphany is: “If the Magi were called ‘wise men’ because they followed the star to find the child Jesus, is it okay then to believe in ‘horoscope’?” The answer is NO. Horoscope is a form of idolatry - a sin against the First Commandment: “I am the Lord your God; you shall not have strange gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) Horoscope readers need to ask themselves whether it is the stars, or God, in charge of their lives? Believing that the stars control our lives contradicts our belief that God is in charge of our lives. The Church states clearly in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or practices falsely supposed to ‘unveil’ the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums; all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.” (CCC 2116)

Why do we then call them ‘wise men’? They were called wise men because they were pagan seekers who used simple, natural signs to discover God. Before they set out on their journey to Bethlehem they were pagan star-readers in search of a King. When they found Jesus they returned back to their countries as missionaries. Their journey was both a physical, and interior, journey that led them from paganism to being worshipers of Christ. You and I have already found Jesus Christ through the Scriptures, the Sacraments and the Church. We no longer need star-reading to lead to Him again.

Thank you and Remain Blessed.

Fr. James