Intention: That the start of this Advent will herald for us a time of prayer and conversion as we return our hearts and our lives to the work of building God’s Kingdom of peace, justice, and love.
Today’s Gospel | Luke 10:21-24
Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
A Short Reflection for the First Tuesday of Advent
It is one of the peculiarities of human nature that we tend to equate fulfillment with control. We can be suspicious of things that come unexpectedly, uncomfortable with the lack of our vetting or input. Take, for example, God. How often do we pray for God’s grace, but insist that it be on our terms, only in preferred forms and at convenient times. And so, for many of us, the God we embrace is actually a reflection in a mirror, a product of our egos and walls, constructed in our own image and likeness. To know the true God begins with the leap of faith called humility. To be humble is to accept that we are neither complete nor sufficient by ourselves. We must admit to our need for others and for God, and learn that fulfillment comes in our encounter with what is true and right. Like those who came to Jesus’ manger in openness and in awe, we must be open to the surprise of God’s redeeming love. The time of Advent is a time for reflecting on this blessing of Emmanuel, of God with us, and that at the heart of our redemption is the simple act of our letting go.
Eternal Father, we rise every morning but sometimes our eyes remain closed. Life passes us by and we overlook all of the good that we could have done and all of the fulfillment that we could have known. Help us to see clearly the chances that we have to be one with you in everything that we do and say. Fill our hearts with zeal for building your Kingdom. May this Advent be for us a time of enlightenment and hope as we prepare our hearts to welcome the coming of your Son. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.