Let’s take a break, a healthy breather, by gazing at the stars and turn our attention to higher realities. More often than not, we get too engrossed into material things earthbound and tend to forget that there are stars above a great world beyond one’s imagination that we can learn from, appreciate and with Awe realize that we are just a little speck when it comes to the created galaxies, milky ways. We can profit from this humbling experience that we are nothing but dust in the wind.
Astrologers and scientist must be having a grand time by the observation of the METEOR Shower that has began last night up to the 7th of January. However tonight will be a good time to observe the meteor shower. I once have seen Meteor showers, sometime in 2002 or 03, from Tyler residence, North Greenhills, San Juan City at about 3a.m. It was awesome experience and I will never forget.
So, this time, we Filipino sky watchers must take advantage of the spectacular “fireworks” of the NEW YEAR 2014. Fireworks coming from heaven above not man-made and therefore very precious.
Coordinate System of the Celestial Sphere
Like the Longitude and Latitude system on Earth, the Celestial Sphere can be provided with a coordinate system to uniquely describe locations of stars and planets. Note that there exists more than one coordinate system for the Celestial Sphere. The system described here is traditionally used for Celestial Navigation and differs from the one used by astronomers in the reference (the “celestial Prime Meridian”) used for defining the East-West coordinate.
The coordinate system of the celestial sphere consists of the following components:
The celestial poles – the North Celestial Pole and South Celestial Pole – are aligned with the poles of the Earth (coinciding axis of rotation). The Celestial Equator lies in the same plane that includes the Earth’s Equator. And like the Earth’s Equator, the Celestial Equator divides the celestial sphere in a northern and southern celestial hemisphere.
The feast of the Three Kings approach who follow the stars in search of Child Jesus in Bethlehem.
Like the three Kings, we have set out into a journey of adventure in life. An important part of this life pilgrimage is our career through which we seek Success, Good Health, Fulfillment, Wealth, Money, Love and Happiness.
The three Kings found what they were looking for by following a Star. It will be good if we too can have a Star to follow. This Star is our vision in life. It is the realization of ”why we exist”. It is through our Star that we come to know how to fulfill our Dream, our Mission in Life, our Life Objective, Goal or Calling.
We discover our Star –the Light and Guide of our Life Journey — in the practice of our professional work. Our Star will help us go on and persevere — when we experience darkness, difficulties, economic & financial failures or when we are in a hostile environment.
The three Kings and Wise Men from the East gave the child Jesus gifts of GOLD, FRANKINCENSE and MYRRH. What do these gifts signify? How can we draw practical applications from this historical bible account?
GOLD: Each of us have been given specific talents; We have been showered with opportunities to acquire education, develop skills, and manage resources; We have been blessed –more importantly– with Family and Friends. Let us appreciate these talents and gifts as the ‘Gold’ of our life.
FRANKINCENSE: Like sweet burning incense, this gift consists of the Good Worksthat we offer alongside our Good Habits andHuman Virtues. When we extend friendship, respect, and understanding to our fellow Real Estate Practitioners –with warmth and kindness– we go beyond the requirements of our Code of Ethics.
MYRRH: Myrrh was used during the time of Jesus Christ for anointing the dead. It signifies the spirit of sacrifice that is demanded from us in the day-to-day activities that require effort –great or small.. like getting up from bed on a definite time, being punctual for work and our appointments. It is the effort we put into demanding more from ourselves; the ‘ Sikap at Tiaga‘; the tough training of our champion Pacquio.. That is the sacrifice required in order to be a Leader and an exemplary Professional.
In 1956, St. Josemaria Escriva gave a homily entitled “The Epiphany of our Lord.”
“When they saw the star again they rejoiced with exceeding great joy” (Mt 2:10). Why were they so happy? Because those who never doubted receive proof from the Lord that the star had not disappeared. They had ceased to contemplate it visibly, but they had kept it always in their soul. Such is the Christian’s vocation. If we do not lose faith, if we keep our hope in Jesus Christ who will be with us “until the consummation of the world” (Mt 28:20), then the star reappears. And with this fresh proof that our vocation is real, we are conscious of a greater joy which increases our faith, hope and love.
“Going into the house they saw the child with Mary, his Mother, and they fell down and worshipped him” (Mt 2:11). We also kneel down before Jesus, God hidden in humanity. We tell him once more that we do not want to turn our backs on his divine call, that we shall never separate ourselves from him, that we shall remove from our path all that may be an obstacle to our fidelity and that we sincerely wish to be docile to his inspirations. You, in your own heart, and I in mine—because I am praying intimately with deep silent cries—are telling the child Jesus that we desire to fulfil our duties as well as the servants of the parable, so that we too may hear the response: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:23).
“Then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, of gold, frankincense and myrrh” (Mt 2:11). Let us pause here a while to understand this passage of the holy Gospel. How is it possible that we, who are nothing and worth nothing, can make an offering to God? We read in the Scriptures: “Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above” (Jas 1:17). Man does not even manage to discover fully the depth and beauty of the Lord’s gifts. “If you knew the gift of God!” (Jn 4:10), Jesus exclaims to the Samaritan woman. Jesus Christ has taught us to expect everything from the Father and to seek first of all the kingdom of God and his justice, and everything else will be given to us in addition, for he knows well what we need (cf. Mt 6:32-33).
In the economy of salvation our Father God looks after each soul with loving care: “Each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another” (1 Cor 7:7). It would, therefore, seem useless to be concerned about presenting to the Lord something that he has no need of. As debtors who have nothing with which to pay (cf. Mt 18:25), our gifts would be like those of the old law that are no longer acceptable to God: “Sacrifices and oblations and holocausts for sin you have not desired: neither are they pleasing to you” (Heb 10:8).
But the Lord knows full well that giving is a vital need for those in love, and he himself points out what he desires from us. He does not care for riches, nor for the fruits or the beasts of the earth, nor for the sea or the air, because they all belong to him. He wants something intimate, which we have to give him freely: “My son, give me your heart” (Prov 23:26). Do you see? God is not satisfied with sharing. He wants it all. It’s not our things he wants. It is ourselves. It is only when we give ourselves that we can offer other gifts to our Lord.
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration ( PAGASA) reported that the Quadranid Meteor shower will be best viewed tonight January 3, Friday and 4th, Saturday. But we need to pray that the skies be cleared of cloud so that we may get a better view of the amazing creation of God for our entertainment, enjoyment and if given the necessary astrological interpretations, we may deduct some meaning or purpose of these falling stars. Is the heaven telling us that we should know? Or are the Greek Gods are just playing with us?
According to GMA Network News, stargazers started their treat less than 24 hours into the New Year as the annual Quadrantid meteor shower will be active by then, state astronomers said.
PAGASA officer-in-charge Vicente Malano said the Quadrantid meteor shower has begun this January 1 and will last up to January 7, 2014, and may have its peak day by tonight, January 3 up to tomorrow, January 4.
“The observation of its peak activity is on January 3-4, in which meteors or ‘falling stars’ can be seen at the rate of at least 40 meteors per hour,” he said.
He added the meteor shower will appear to radiate from the constellation of Bootes.
Malano said the Quadrantid meteor shower hits the Earth’s atmosphere at 40 km per second, with the incinerated dust believed to be particles “from the debris ejected by the near-Earth asteroid 2003 EH.”
Malano also said the equilateral triangle in the sky, or the Winter Triangle, rises after sunset.
He said this includes Betelgeuse, the super giant red star and the prominent star of the famous constellation Orion; Sirius, the brightest star in the sky of the constellation Canis Major; and Procyon, the brightest star of the constellation Canis Minor.
On January 1, Venus will shine at magnitude -3.7 and will be found low in the west-southwestern horizon after sunset.
It may slip down the horizon and may no longer be observed after the first week of January. It will appear in the morning sky at the last week of the month.
Mercury may be visible in mid-January at the west-southwestern horizon. It will shine at magnitude -1.0 and will have full disk as seen through a telescope.
Neptune and Uranus will be found above the west-southwestern sky after sunset and can be observed using modest-sized telescopes and binoculars under clear skies.
They will be located among the background stars of the constellations Aquarius and Pisces. They will glow at magnitudes +5.8 and +7.9, respectively.
Jupiter will shine at magnitude -2.7 in the eastern sky after sunset and will be visible in the evening sky throughout January. It will be found among the background stars of the constellation Gemini.
“This month will provide a perfect opportunity to view the largest planet in the solar system with its alternating series of bright zones and dark belts and with a diameter disk that measure at 47 seconds of an arc,” Malano said.
Meanwhile, Saturn rises in the early morning hours and will glow at magnitude +0.6. It will be located within Libra.
Mars will rise before midnight during January and will be found among the stars of the constellation of Virgo.
Hopefully, we will have the night sky free of clouds. So, I recommend if you which to observe this wonderful phenomena, is to go out of Metro Manila, in an area were no city lights would hamper or block the stunning view.
My favorite sites for meteor skywatching is in Tanay, Rizal, binangonan, Mt. Batulaw Tagaytay, the hills of Bulacan or Mount Makiling, Banahaw, or areas of Laguna and Quezon, or any other area where it is dark enough, to see the sky, clear and enjoy the meteor rain.
These Meteor are reportedly coming from the constellation Booters.
The best vintage point to observe these heavenly rain of fire & light will be in Asia.. And PAGASA says that there will be no Moon light to Humper or ruin the grand wonderful view.
Therefore, let us enjoy this Great show of a spectacular, Natural , Astronomical Shower of “fireworks” from the Heavens.
Each one can come up with its own interpretation of these Signs of the Times.. My own imagination makes me think that it means that ASIA will be receiving a shower of Blessings and Graces.. But since, there heavenly streams of cosmic debris of fire particles derived from a near Earth Asteroid ( 2003 EH) may also mean climate disturbance, mental disorders, and a warning from the Hevens that Humans must start behaving like Persons, Made in the Image and Likness of GOD. That is th consideration that I wish to share.. We are Children of GOD, with the Dignity of being rational and are subject to these laws of nature.