Advent is my favorite season, and one I always rush to embrace. I love all the Advent readings at Mass and in the Liturgy of the Hours, and of course, all the good Advent books there are to enhance our understanding.
And yet, each year, Advent, beloved and instructive as it is, tends to get away from me, somehow. Two weeks into it, I get completely tied with the world and all of its demands, and the gifting that we sometimes really over-emphasize, and then suddenly it’s New Year’s Eve and I look back and think: “I could have done Advent better. I could have been an Advent contender, instead of an Advent Bum, which is what I am.”
I really do think that. Advent is so beautiful, and I live it so poorly. But not this year. This year, I have the great privilege of writing Aleteia’s Advent series for 2017, which we are calling “Advent Light.”
Yesterday, I wondered about how we keep wandering away from God:
Our God is a mannerly God, who forces nothing, because a love that is compelled is no love at all. God wants us, and aches for us to turn to him, but we must do it freely. Thus we are created in freedom; we are permitted to seek out a relationship with God, or to shirk one. As we can see all around us — at the secular values that are increasingly driving our culture, our politics, and even some religious discussions — there is a whole lot of shirking going on.
Today, my meditation brings us to Christ, and the Centurion, and how that Gospel episode relates to the Word sent forth:
[The Centurion] has the big picture — his servant is sick and suffering — but the details are eluding him. He knows the illness is wrong; he has no idea as to how to fix that. Jesus acquiesces with almost casual simplicity and immediacy — as though he’d been waiting for this request all his life. He says, yes, he’ll go cure him. How very like the beginning of all things. In Eden, humankind, full of capabilities and apparently too much confidence, brings on the fall. Paradise is lost and in our new brokenness we are infected with disease, sickness, death, and doubt. The first humans of God-consciousness are cast into a distance of strife and suffering; they know something is wrong; they have no idea how to fix it. But within the great Triune Creator, there is a Word, and the Word is … Well, the word is “Yes.” The word is “I will come and cure …”
You can read the rest here.
Tomorrow…well, tomorrow I get a bit bossy, and ask us all to consider that God is not actually interested in all of our noise and braying.
I hope you’ll check it out, and that you’ll read our Advent Light, every day through this holy and hopeful season of consolation. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt like I needed an Advent more than I have this year, and I intend to get the most out of it I possibly can!
Let’s travel this journey to Bethlehem together. Maybe with your good company, I won’t get lost, this time.