Today’s gospel from Matthew begins:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. (Mt 7:21)
Advent is a time of great grace given to us by the Church. That’s one of the things I love about being Catholic. The rhythm of the liturgical year reminds us again and again of where our home really lies. Day in and day out in this season of penitence, the scriptures call us to ponder our finiteness as humans and to fix our hearts on the eternal, the only place of true happiness. Isaiah writes in yesterday’s liturgy:
On this mountain the LORD of hosts
will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines,
juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the veil that veils all peoples,
The web that is woven over all nations;
he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from all faces;
The reproach of his people he will remove
from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken. (Is 25:6-8)
Can we really fathom a place like this?
Bound by the here and now, the tactile, the material, and the fleeting, the concept of the eternal evades the mind and heart of most, save for those totally united with the will of God – like heaven touching earth and earth touching heaven. Immediately two come to mind. Two who stand at the very core of this season: Our Lady and Jesus.
“Be it done unto me according to your word,” she replied nine months before. “Not my will, but thy will be done,” he surrendered thirty-three years later. “Yes” and “Yes”.
And so it is with us. Yes to grace. Yes to prayer. Yes to sacrifice. Yes to love – in all moments and in all things.
My prayer for you today is that the grace of Advent will propel you to “Yes,” overshadowing you and giving birth to new life in your soul.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee! Anne