Showing posts from December, 2012

Christmas is coming....

...but it's not here yet! As life gets hectic as Christmas gets closer and closer, I invite each of us to remember what Christmas is really about.  It's not the presents or the decorations, the food you'll prepare or the cookies that are already baked. Meister Eckhart reminds us that Christmas is about Jesus, the birth of God in our world, and our role in making God present to those we encounter. We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself? And, what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son  if I do not also give birth to him in my time and my culture? This, then, is the fullness of time: When the Son of Man is begotten in us. Ah.  One of my favorite Christmas quotations. But what does it mean?  How am I to give birt

Waiting in friendship

Last night I heard a homily for Our Lady of Guadalupe (and also Advent) that focused on the phrase -- Estoy esperando contigo. I am waiting with you.  We might offer, "I'll wait with you." In Spanish, esperar also means to hope for, or to expect--which always seems (to me, not a native Spanish speaker) to make waiting a more positive thing.  We do not wait in vain. This idea of waiting together got me thinking about friendship, and that being a friend is about being with someone.  Caring enough just to be there, without agenda or anything.  Waiting with someone might be easy (waiting for a plane to take you on vacation) or it might be very hard (waiting at their side through sickness or death).  It doesn't require any special talents or skills, just the ability to be . I woke up this morning having dreamt of a friend. We lost our friendship when (as she told me) she realized she couldn't "help" me and had decided it was better if we went

Conflicting messages

From today's first reading, Isaiah 26:4: Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal rock. That image of God has been with me for years--God as the bedrock, the rock that lies beneath the earth, below our feet, entirely solid and unshakeable.  It's an image that helps me get through hard times and reminds me of the solidity of my own call to be God's own. I just read another image of Advent--one that contradicts the image of bedrock, or, rather, makes that rock an earthquake.  It comes from Alfred Delp, SJ, who died a martyr, executed by the Nazis in 1945 for his resistance. In a sermon for the first week of Advent, Delp describes the "shaking" that the Advent lectionary discusses, shaking that anticipates the coming of the Lord at the end of time.  He says we need to be shaken, to feel instability, so that we know "inner movement and restlessness of heart" that bring us to God and to clear knowledge of our world.   Delp says,

Waiting, anticipation

Most of us don't particularly enjoy time spent in a waiting room, or the anxious anticipation of news that concerns our lives, such as a job offer, acceptance into a school or study program, results of a test. Here we are in Advent, waiting on God. The good news is just that--Good News, the gospel message that God has come into our lives and our world, forever altering the course of history. So what, then, do we wait for? What are you waiting for? Or, what is being born in your life or your heart at this time? In Advent language, we wait for three things:  the coming of God into our world in the Incarnation (which already happened, and which we celebrate at Christmas), the coming of Jesus into our lives in the here and now, and the coming of Christ at the end of time to usher in a new age.  That new age is described in today's reading from Isaiah 25:6-10a: On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples A feast of rich food and choice wines, ju