One of the things that inspires me about the journey of the wise men coming to greet Jesus is the distance that they traveled to do this. This is arguably the first ever Christian pilgrimage. The weeks that they spent traveling indicates the regard that they had for the newly born king.

Insofar that I have participated in pilgrimages I have always found that the focus of the pilgrimage is very important. This may sound obvious but I think that it is an important thing to remember. One reason why I say this is that I think too many people have lost sight of the focus of the universal pilgrimage of all humanity! We are all on earthly pilgrimages towards our heavenly homeland. However, should we lose our focus and allow our eyes and consequently our focus to shift, then we might find that our lives begin to lose their sense of meaning and thus we may fall into despair.

This process I have just outlined is all too evident in the lives of so many people who I meet and minister to as a priest. The overwhelming root cause of so many of the problems in the lives of those who come to me for help is simply a lack of direction or focus upon the real meaning of their lives. It is easy to come to this conclusion – it is a lot more difficult to find the answer to each individual situation. So often the answer requires a refocusing of the life of the individual that is a long-term and often quite painful process.

The simplest answer to the problem is to not allow ourselves to reach a crisis point in the first place! We must do all that we can to ensure that we keep a healthy focus in our life upon the reason for living. That is, we need to remain serious about the way we seek to grow in our spiritual lives. If we do not, then we will surely find that we will reach a crisis point in our faith eventually. Let us pray that we will always be open to the grace to recognize and act upon the fact that we are on a pilgrimage of faith to our heavenly inheritance. I hope and pray that we all arrive at our desired destination!

Do I regularly assess the progress that I am making in my earthly pilgrimage? If not, why not?  Have I allowed myself to be distracted or deflected from the true goal of my earthly pilgrimage?

Lord Jesus, you did not allow anything to distract you from your focus of remaining obedient to God’s will. Help me to follow your example and so arrive safely at the destination of my heavenly homeland.