Reflection for Saturday, December 19, 2009: 3rd week in Advent.

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Rouse, Maryanne
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Here we are at the end of the Third Week of Advent with Christmas less than one week away! || Perhaps it is a good time to be reminded with the psalmist: "In you, Yahweh, I take shelter ... Be a sheltering rock for me, a walled fortress to save me! You alone are my hope." | What is it we seek shelter from? The onslaught of the very early morning sales opportunities that battle strenuously with the inner voice, urging us to listen to the "true meaning" of Christmas? Or the abundance of Christmas cheer: cookies, candies, and eggnogs that wage war with a previous promise to "eat healthy" this season? Or the self-imposed pressure to make this the BEST Christmas, however, we define that, that is making it impossible for us to notice the Emmanuel moments that we encounter in the faces, smiles, or loving gestures of family members? | We can relax, if we choose-difficult though it may be, and open ourselves to the gifts of this day. A good friend wrote on a Christmas card that he sent me one July, "Christ comes everyday or He doesn't come at all." | No need to spend precious moments in regretting time already "wasted" this Advent. With God all time is eternity anyway. With those whom we love-they will take our love (usually) whenever we choose to give it. | The day could begin with a quiet reading of today's Gospel which tells the story of John's father Zechariah's encounter with the angel, Gabriel, and his subsequent period of silence to ponder the angel's promise of John's birth to his "barren (until then) wife, getting on in years." The reading ends with Elizabeth's happy declaration that her pregnancy in its fifth month at the moment, " ... has pleased the Lord to take away the humiliation I have suffered. (due to her barrenness)." | What barrenness might we discover in need of God's redemption? Or what delights are in store if we are attentive to them? What gifts are ours to share liberally once the release of that self-imposed pressure frees them?
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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