But how can we rejoice in the Lord if He
is far away from us? Pray God He may
not be far. If He is, that
is your doing.
May the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus be with you! That
rather sobering quote from St. Augustine is a good reminder of
what this holy season of Advent is all about. The Incarnation
of the Lord Jesus is God's once and for all definitive statement
about His desire to be in proximity to His People. He has made
it clear how close He wishes to be to us. Now it is our part,
in response to His graced invitation, to choose to draw near to
Him. We have done so, many times, but even as we have the power,
in response to His grace, to draw near to Him, so too do we have
the power to move away from Him. The Church provides us with
this holy season to prepare our hearts once again for the celebration
of the Mystery of the Incarnation. Part of that preparation consists
in examining, right now, where do we stand in relationship to
Him? Are we rejoicing in His presence, or does He seem far away
A few years ago I saw a great slogan: IF GOD SEEMS DISTANT,
GUESS WHO MOVED? This is the same sentiment as expressed above
by St. Augustine. Have we moved--in other words, have we sinned?
Where do we need to repent in our lives? If we plead with the
Holy Spirit for guidance, He will show us where we need to repent.
This is not meant to be an exercise is self-recrimination, but
rather an honest appraisal of where we need to repent and seek
His forgiveness. As we examine our consciences, we do so always
conscious that we have a God rich in mercy Who delights in saving
His people. Let us fearlessly, then, with His guidance, look
at our lives as we celebrate this time of preparation.
We have just celebrated the Feast of Christ the King. This celebration is a glorious reminder of the reality of just Who the Lord Jesus is: the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. It also invites us to examine just Who He is in our lives. Is He the absolute, unequivocal center; is He reigning on the throne in the center of our hearts? Does He have absolute Lordship over our lives, not only in theory, but in actual, day-to-day practice? We have several weeks to prayerfully reflect on our relationship with Him. This special season, bracketed by the Feast of His Kingship on one end and the Feast of His Incarnation on the other, is an opportunity for great grace. Let us use this time wisely to evaluate our relationship with the Lord Jesus and prepare ourselves for an ever deeper coming into our hearts of the grace of the Incarnation.