The Lady of the Harbor
by Rev. Robert J. Hermley

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Statue of Liberty, New York CityWhenever I go to New York City, I like to take the boat ride out to the Statue of Liberty in the New York Harbor.  This bronze lady stands majestically on her pedestal surveying the magnificent harbor and holding aloft a bright torch in her hand.  She stands tall as if she is speaking to the entire world the beautiful and touching message carved under her awesome figure:

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed  to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

On one particular Saturday afternoon as the boat neared the gigantic lady, my thoughts went back to the millions of immigrants who came to these shores over so many, many years.  Perhaps they stayed up all night as they realized they were nearing the shores of America.  Perhaps they waited on deck for hours hoping to catch a glimpse of this magnanimous lady of the harbor holding aloft her torch and bidding them welcome to this home land - to this new world - to a new life of peace, joy and contentment.  What happiness and hopes must have filled their heats as they came nearer and nearer and passed the lady as she stood looking down upon the boat filled with her newest children who had come perhaps over a sea of darkness and turbulence.

And somewhere deep within me I pictured another Lady who stood on the shores of eternity holding aloft in her motherly arms the child Jesus.  She stands there in the harbor of Paradise holding the Light of the World as a beacon to all on the tempest tossed sea of life.  She points out the way to all who hope for the joys of a new life with her and her Divine Son in paradise when the journey of life is over.

How we travelers wait and watch as we journey day by day towards the end of our trip to eternity - to see our Lady of the Harbor, to see the Star of the Sea who has pointed out to us the right direction to her Son and to the promised land.  She looks magnanimously towards us as we come nearer and nearer to our goal.  She waits to welcome us, and from her lofty perch she calls to us:

    "To enter here, do whatever He tells You."

And what message does Christ give us?

     "Come to Me all you who labor and are heavily burdened and I will refresh you."