Saturday, December 01, 2012
(Note: During Advent, Praying the Mystery will be posted every day using the format below, which includes additional helps for personal and group prayer and reflection. I welcome your responses and suggestions to this format. Pr. David L. Miller).
In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1).
I have loved you with an everlasting love, and so I still maintain my faithful love for you (Jeremiah 31:3).
Christmas begins in the heart of an everlasting longing, a burning desire we can only begin to understand.
We are born in this world hungry for an all-surpassing love, and we live out our lives seeking to satisfy an inner ache for this love, which we somehow know is our truest home.
It can be no other way. We are created in the image of God, the image of an infinite love who longs to fill us so thoroughly that every fear evaporates and all that remains in us is the delight of being alive, the joy of arriving, finally, home.
Our hunger is fanned by unfulfilled dreams, unhealed wounds and our need for release from all that weighs us down and steals our joy. Our hearts are restless until we know for life unlimited and love unbounded.
We are not alone. Such is the nature of the human heart … and the heart of God.
In our hunger for more, we know the divine distress of the One who loves us with an everlasting love.
In the beginning, before the dawn of time, before the first gentle fall of snow, before hoarfrost made exquisite art on barren limbs in winter’s cold, before the red cardinal’s flight excited human hearts at the miracle of color, before it all … was the Word, the heart, the passion, the hunger of the One who is Love and nothing but Love.
Christmas was already there, a seed in the divine heart ready to be planted in the cold dust of earth-bound souls. From all eternity, God was hungry for creation and Creator, time and eternity, the divine heart and human hearts to join as one.
Love wants only one thing … to give itself away until it fills the beloved with the joy of completion, the peace of home. Until it does, there is no fulfillment, no final joy for God’s heart … or for ours.
There was never a moment when Christmas was not on the way, never a moment when God did not hunger to come and share with us all whom God is.
Christmas comes on the wings of Love’s everlasting desire for each of us.
And it is received only by hearts hungry for home.
For prayer & meditation
• What thoughts and memories does the reflection stir in you?
• What hopes and longings do you bring to Christmas this year? What do the lights and songs awaken in you?
• When do you feel God’s desire for you, to love you? How are your desires and God’s the same desire?
Love has come a light in the darkness! Love shines forth in the Bethlehem skies. See, all heaven has come to proclaim it; hear how their song of joy arises; Love! Love! Born unto you, a Savior! Love! Love! Glory to God on high.
(“Love Has Come,” Ken Bible, 1996)