Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fourth Tuesday of Advent: Peace In-breaking

“In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace." – Lk 1: 78-79

Yesterday at Mass, the presider asked if we are ready for Christ’s coming this Christmas. Immediately racing through my mind was the list of unfinished things I needed to do, the many “should's” that I needed to complete in order to be ready for God to come closer. In this thinking, I was not ready to receive the Divine Guest because my house (outer and internal states) was not in order. Yet, I did not give in to the perfectionistic temptation that I had to have it “all together” in order to be ready. Realizing that fulfilling all the “should’s” was secondary, I found myself nodding ‘Yes Lord, come in, here I am …” A smile dawned on my lips and peace like a gentle breeze flowed through.

For many of us, Christmas Eve is often full of many activities. We feel outer or inner pressures to get things done, including being happy, cheerful, joyful. In addition, we notice people we find difficult knocking at our doors, hard feelings crowding in our hearts, children clamoring for our attention. A hectic reality.

Yet, imagine another reality taking place: The “tender compassion of our God” breaking upon us, shining through our outer shadows and inner darkness, guiding “our feet into the way of peace.”  As we stumble and fumble along our paths these days, we find ourselves being lead somehow. We don’t know the journey well, yet we are lead along the way. St. Ignatius Loyola discovered this. At the same time he sought God, God was guiding him into the way of peace. A peace beneath the hustle and bustle of life. An underling peace that sustains eruptions of joy. A peace in trusting that we don’t have to make it happen, that God’s tender mercy heals our dis-ease. Something wondrous is happening, just let it unfold …

Lord, help me trust that you are already with me, whispering: “Peace. I am here!”

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