“Lord, make us turn to You; let us see Your face and we shall be saved” – Psalm 80
When invited to write a reflection for this booklet, I was quite honored and excited to be presented with the wonderful opportunity. Familiar with the process of writing talks, reflections, lessons, and homilies, I was hoping for, and anticipating a Sunday reading, a reading that encompassed one of the familiar stories found in Advent, or beyond all dreams, the Gospel reading for Christmas Day! And so, my waiting, reflecting an Advent spirit, was filled with hopeful anticipation. My excitement quickly turned to consternation when my designated day left me with two scripture readings that absolutely confounded me, even after I read several commentaries! I was at a loss.
What I discovered, however, in this disappointment, was an aspect of Advent that is rarely recognized by me and deeply hidden in my heart. Disappointment for me occurs when my hopes, wishes, and desires are not realized the way I want them to be. I am not devastated, and my life is not left in ruins, but there is a level of unfulfillment I experience. Advent is a time of waiting, joyful expectancy, and hopeful anticipation that God will fulfill all that God promises to us. Therefore, even when things do not turn out according to plan, we are invited to trust that God’s prophecies will be fulfilled. Perhaps disappointment, Advent’s subtle spirit, is God’s way of “dissing” our appointments; our engagements with familiar ways of knowing or seeing, so that the gift of watchfulness, our waiting in action, may help us to see as God sees. If we can do this, then the Incarnation becomes a reality far beyond the 25th of December and the Word is made flesh in every moment. This certainly is joy to the world!
So, I offer my reflection. Just perhaps in your reading, an Advent hope has been fulfilled, and you are left “dis” appointed.
Lord, grace me with the gift of seeing the world through Your heart that I might live according to Your will. Amen.