No One Goes Away from Jesus Unchanged

blog1223The video below is a 2008 Coca-Cola commercial that takes up the theme of the star of Christmas.

Let us review the impact that the star of Christmas had on the wise men, the Magi.

  1. The star moved them to seek meaning outside themselves; it made them look out and up.
  2. The star called them beyond what was familiar in their own country and world and expanded their horizons toward Christ and His Kingdom.
  3. The star summoned them to seek Christ, and when they found Him, to worship Him.
  4. The star drew them to be generous to a poor family in Bethlehem; they made sacrifices as they lay costly gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh before the Lord.
  5. The star roused them to conversion; they “returned to their country by another route,” following the straight and narrow path rather than the wide and destructive one.

Yes, no one encounters Jesus Christ and goes away unchanged. A blind man went away able to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk. The hungry went away satisfied, the ignorant instructed, the guilty forgiven, sinners converted.

The call of the nations to change and to new life began with a star. The light of the star opens the way to the Light of World, Jesus. The star of my life is Jesus.

In the commercial below we see Santa (a name that means “Holy One”) sending forth a star, one that touches people and radiates a light that transforms them.

  1. A woman sees the light of that star and is able to forgive her husband and be reconciled with him.
  2. A young soccer player sees the light of that star, surrenders his pride, and steps aside to let another share in and get a shot at glory.
  3. A young girl sees the light of that star and, giving up some of her own beauty, seeks to beautify a public park for others.
  4. A museum guard sees the light of that star and shows mercy to the guard dog with him (this was a silly one).
  5. A father sees the light of that star and allows his son a moment of growth.

Yes, there is something about that star that changes everyone who looks at it. They become more forgiving, more gracious, more aware of others, more connected to others, more loving. The light of the star, and the light of the world, is Jesus. His light is meant to have that same effect—and more besides.

In the background of the commercial an old Elvis song plays: “Wise men say only fools rush in, but I can’t help falling in love with you. Shall I stay? Would it be a sin if I can’t help falling in love with you?”

Of course the love that is symbolized by the star is not the romantic love of the song but the brotherly and agape love that Christ gives. Like the Magi who found Christ by the star, no one sees the star of Jesus and encounters Him and then goes away unchanged. Indeed, if we authentically encounter Christ, we are equipped to love, just as the people in this commercial are. We are equipped to forgive, to bring healing, to help others find strength and glory in the truth, and to come to full maturity in Christ. A person who knows Jesus and has encountered Him cannot help loving others, not in some merely sentimental way, but with a strong and vigorous love rooted in the truth. This is the same love that Jesus has for us all.

At the end of the commercial is an exhortation in Spanish that translates as follows: “Give the world the best of you.” The best of me is Jesus.

One Reply to “No One Goes Away from Jesus Unchanged”

  1. I hope you will permit my humble addition to Fr Charles’ piece in the form of the Christmas Carol lyrics I was asked to write some years ago for a junior school Christmas concert – (I composed the music too, but can’t post that here of course!)
    As I thought about the Christmas Star I began to discern its similarity in shape, as it is normally depicted at Christmas, to the shape of The Cross, and it occurred to me that without ‘The Cross’, some 33 years later, Our Lord’s coming to us in the flesh would seem to be quite superfluous.
    I therefore composed this humble and simple little carol on this theme and I entitled it,

    When Jesus Christ was born of Mary,
    In the hay at Bethlehem town,
    A Star appeared and sparkled brightly;
    On the manger, its light shone down.
    The child smiled up to Heaven –
    He knew what meant that star;
    When Jesus Christ was born of Mary,
    The Cross shone bright, that day.

    The child He grew, became a man,
    And tried to teach the world about love;
    He healed the sick and fed the hungry,
    Talked of God, His Father above.
    The Star stood still above Him
    And showed us all the way.
    When Jesus Christ was born of Mary
    The Cross shone bright, that day.

    Then came the day, not long from then,
    The Star stood still on Calvary’s Hill;
    To save the world from sin, He came,
    Hung on that cross, His task to fulfil.
    His love came down at Christmas
    And still is ours today.
    For when Jesus Christ was born of Mary
    The Cross shone bright, that day.

    I hope you will all understand that these very simple verses were written for 7-10 year-olds. But I can’t help thinking that perhaps we all need to become rather more, ‘as little children’, when contemplating the Star of Bethlehem and The Cross of Calvary, and hopefully will then become a little more worthy than we otherwise would be of ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’. Matthew 18:3.
    God bless you all and have a Holy, Peaceful, Joyous and truly Salvific Christmas!

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