“I see him, though not now; I behold him, though not near” – Numbers 24:17
At Christmas, we participate and rejoice in the mystery of what has already occurred – Emmanuel has come – God is already with us. During Advent we participate in the confusing mystery of waiting for something/someone that has already arrived. St. John of the Cross gives some insight into this mysterious paradox. In his poetry, ‘The Romances’ St. John “listens in” to the conversations that take place within the Trinity as the time of the Incarnation draws near. The Father speaks to the Son – “In perfect love this law holds: that the lover become like the one he loves.” What has already occurred in history is God’s fidelity to His perfect love – humbly becoming human to share fully in the life of those he loves. What still remains undone is our response to that love – our taking up in the ordinary activities and events of life, dispositions and actions that mirror the love in which we share. We are called, over the course of a lifetime, to become like the one we love. In old age, grandparents seem to look like one another more and more. Dog owners often resemble their beloved pets. Twins who live in close geographical proximity continue to resemble one another. If people can physically grow to resemble those they love, what changes of heart and transformations of spirit are possible when in humility we respond to the Love in which we abide? In silence, solitude and stillness we may actually begin to “see him, though not now; behold him, though not near …”
The Xaverian ‘Fundamental Principles’ encourage us: “Stand ready to answer God when He asks you if you are available for him to become more present in your life and through you to the world.”
What “beloved” has so grasped you that your life is being directed and transformed by your love for that “beloved?” Be attentive today for a moment that calls you to love as God loves.
Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Brother Joseph Pawlika
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