The season of Advent inspires us to be awed by simplicity. God's power is not evident in where we perceive it to be; I think of so many prayer intentions offered that have yet to be answered. Much like the people of Israel who were awaiting their preconceived politically messianic figure, I find my own prayer intentions outside of God's plan in the here and now.
This makes me ponder, what are we to do with the here and now then? The Church speaks to us on this occasion the words of St. Leo the Great. In his homily we come across a very famous exhortation. Perhaps the greatest answer to our prayer is to remember that even now, God wills us into being with His love. If we remember what He has done for us, we know that He will not let us down. St. Leo says it better:
Dearly beloved, today our Savior is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.
No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand. Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life.
In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind.
And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to his people on earth as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvelous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men?
Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh.
Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.
I pray that you and your family are able to fully embrace and experience the graces of this upcoming Christmas season.
Yours truly in Christ,