This reflection is written in response to Matthew 25:31-46.
This week’s quantum Gospel spoke to last week’s reflection on gender justice, while now pointing toward next week’s beginning of the Advent Season. Advent touches the heart of the matter we call Christianity where the least ones among us, and the least hopeful areas within us, are transformed into beacons of hope, if we let them.
Advent, taken from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming,” is a time of expectant waiting and prayerful preparation. It stares hopelessness down. It is the foundation of my saving grace during the commercial madness of the “holiday season.”
As we move quickly this year from Thanksgiving on Thursday to Advent wreath burning on Sunday, my week felt like an Advent wake up call. First, My son and I attended an event for a homeless shelter called The Raphael House (www.raphaelhouse.org ) where families experiencing homelessness move toward hopeful futures. As a married woman, yet single parent, I hear that more than 85% of the occupants are single moms with 2 or more children and …my heart breaks.
Next, I brought communion to an elderly blind woman who is homebound. She looked at me through her blindness with a wisdom that pierced my heart.
Then another day, I totally lost my cool when my youngest son defiantly announced that he wasn’t going to do his homework. My reaction was too strong. I was wrong. I was my worst me. And my own heart breaks open in remorse for I am vulnerable with him.
At the end of the week, I wrote a letter of recommendation for the daughter of a dear friend. I didn’t know that she didn’t know the depths of my fondness for her. When I saw her, she was so pleased…as if she didn’t realize that my love and joy in knowing her was always there. Unspoken, it was unknown. Expressed, it was a smile maker!
As Advent advances, I savor these precious days coming into intimate contact with that deep seeded need for salvation. The first steps entering into Advent is to slow down, to breathe more deeply and to trust that something is happening. So before a single decoration goes up, I hope and I pray that I can prepare well for Christmas’ deeper meaning. During this mysterious adventure of advent, the key for me rests in Joy’s beautiful post this week. That being able to receive with grace and to accept with dignity the saving love God pours out constantly through us, with us and in us.
November 18, 2011 1 Comment