“That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.” – Isaiah 2:3
Every year as Advent begins, I reflect on how to prepare for Jesus’ birth. I often have aspirations for quiet prayer, contemplation and solitude. Inevitably, however, these hopes are dashed with the realities of the hurried pace of daily life and countless Christmas preparations. I find that the peaceful waiting “supposed” to comprise the Advent season is undermined by the demands of everyday life.
Yet, being a part of the Xaverian community has taught me that daily life is the very ground where God meets us and forms us as beloved daughters and sons. As it says in the Fundamental Principles, “If you allow yourself to be formed by God through the common, ordinary, unspectacular flow of everyday life, you will experience a liberation and a freedom never before imagined.” Mindful of this truth, Advent waiting then is not an unrealistic waiting set apart from daily life but an active waiting that is found precisely in everyday events.
In today’s reading from Isaiah, we hear an invitation to active waiting: “Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.” Like the climbing of a mountain, Advent waiting is one of engagement. As we climb through our everyday lives, we are instructed in the Lord’s ways. Advent waiting is about allowing God to form us through the daily mountains of our lives. In this way, we may follow God’s paths not in spite of everyday life but in its ordinary flow. This Advent, may we come and climb the mountain of the Lord, actively waiting to be instructed in his ways and faithfully follow in his paths. So that when we celebrate the awaited birth of Jesus, we may “walk in the light of the Lord” in the common, ordinary, unspectacular flow of everyday life.
Lord, guide our Advent waiting so we may be instructed in your ways and walk in your paths.
Dr. Carolyn Herman
To view the full Advent 2021 booklet in English, click here.
For Spanish, click here.
For French, click here.