Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2020
My Dear Good People,
This weekend opens the very beautiful Season of Advent in our Church—indeed, in many denominations of Christians. Here in New England where I live, this season is especially moving because of the long dark evenings and the stillness of the snow-covered hills. It calls us to a reflection on the stillness in which Mary carried her precious Child to His mysterious birth in Bethlehem—mysterious because, after all, who can fathom a God who would come as a baby, to a place where the animals stay, to a world where many longed for Him but few would recognize Him at His coming? Such Mystery.
And don’t we each have our own mystery to ponder: How could God, King of the Universe, the Beginning and the End, the eternal Triune God, want to become one of us? Live in our flesh? Know the suffering of poverty? Taste the tears of disappointment and pain? Undergo the pangs of death? Why would He DO that?
I’m not very good at solving mysteries. I read the ending before I start the book because I can’t wait all that time….and if the ending sounds good, I go back to the beginning and, well, I begin.
This Sunday, The first Sunday of Advent, we all know how the mystery ends; He, Jesus, the Son of God, reaches out to you and to me, and says, “Come. Make Your Home in Me, as I make Mine in you. I know what it’s like to live in this confusing world. I know what it’s like to be in need. And how it feels to be misunderstood, ignored, disappointed. I came little. I lived hidden. I walked hungry. I died bereft. But every moment, for Me, was Love. For you. I have prepared a place for you. Trust Me. “
This great time of Advent when everything can look dark and unpromising, we know better. Unless you become as a little child, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt. 18:3). What hope that brings us. He doesn’t ask us to be great or famous or to have all the answers. Just to be like a little child. Like Himself.
And so we pray today and each day throughout this lovely, time of Advent,
In the deep stillness of your union with Jesus, hide me, O Mary.
With the Love of the Coming Feast,
Mother Marie Julie
and the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady,
Mother of the Church