I am taking a pause from the series of Embracing the Mystery to reflect on this kick-off week of advent.
Yesterday, I was able to have a day full of reflection on Advent; yeah my job is pretty awesome! The Jesuit priest leading the reflection shared a few questions that touched me and kind of uncomforted me a little as well, I will be sharing my reflection on this with you all today.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” John 1:14
Advent is going to take us to contemplate three things, the coming of our Savior, the second and final coming, and the everyday coming of our Lord in our lives.
We look back— We all know this beautiful nativity story of our Jesus in a manger with Mary and Joseph and the whole setup of an ironic and contradictory to all norms coming of a King. We have grown up imagining and living out this beautiful scene in our memory and hearts. We remember this night with peace, love and lots of joy.
We look forward—this night takes us to a place of hope. We know we aren’t fully there. God created man, he said it was good and it’s not until we are good that man will go back to the nature of our creation. For this, we have some work to do! Yet, still we look forward with anticipation of what’s not yet happened: hope. We hope for Christ fully revealed because as of now we only know glimpses of who God is and we try to say we KNOW God, but really we are completely ignorant of who He truly is.
We look within— this anticipation HAS to take us to look within. To see where it is that Christ is being born this year? In an artificial nativity set for looks? Let’s take it a step further, let Him come into You. What does His coming say about this God that sometimes feels so afar? What does His coming say about you man and woman of flesh and blood that our Savior took on our same condition and walked in our midst? What does coming mean to everyone around us? God in Christ has revealed himself as a sacrifice of love of everlasting and never conforming love. What does this say about you? THAT YOU ARE WORTH IT! It doesn’t make sense to look at yourself and consider yourself without value or that you’re nothing there isn’t a bigger lie than that… you my brother and sister whoever you are wherever you may be, you have been chosen to receive in your condition the Savior. He made himself man to remind us, human being that in our flesh and bone God lives—God resides. The problem is that likeness has been hidden by the power of sin. And this is why we prepare and wait— prepare our hearts and wait for something bigger.
The waiting and preparing is an everyday invitation, but in this Advent season, we find ourselves preparing in an intimate manner; in the Child of the manger of Nazareth.
Joandra Ocampo – Writer, unparalleled love