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 happiness with control. What fulfills us is whatever meets our expectations and what disturbs us is whatever does not. And so, we are suspicious of things that arrive from outside of our plans, without our vetting or approval. Take, for example, God. How often do we pray for God’s grace, but then insist that it come only on our terms. As such, the God that we embrace is often just our own reflection in a mirror, an embellished product of our egos, God in our own image and likeness. To know the true God, we must begin with a leap of faith called humility, accepting that we are neither complete nor sufficient by ourselves. We must admit to our need for others and for God if we ever are to be fulfilled. That fulfillment comes in encounters that lie beyond our own power, that come as the surprise of the Holy Spirit. Like those who came to Jesus’ manger in openness and in awe, we must be open to the unpredictability 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 lies the simple choice of 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.