It's hard to believe, but with this feast of the Epiphany of the Lord we enter the last week of the Christmas season. Today we celebrate the revelation of Christ to the world (epiphany, from the Greek epiphaneia 'manifestation').
The feast of the Epiphany highlights the coming of the three Magi, who are in manner representative of us all. Their perseverance in seeking Christ, their discovery of Him at the manger and their acceptance of Him as the true King speak to our own search for meaning.
We have many hopes for this new year, both in our own goals and the surprises we anticipate wait for us. We can also trust that there will be struggles -expected and unexpected. It is Christ who gives both our joys and crosses meaning. The very existence of a new year speaks to the passing nature of any joy or suffering in this life. Christ's revelation speaks to the meaning of it all: the glory of God and the fullness of human life in Him.
We are very often tempted to think of our lives as the fulfillment of our desires. And in this our sufferings can seem overwhelming and our joys can become the only object of our attention. If we can keep our eyes on the Star of David, Jesus Christ revealed to us, we will find - as the Magi have - strength to endure any cross and joys that we haven't imagined.