John journeyed across the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth,"
LK 3: 1-6

Spirituality is a two way street. On the one hand, God approaches humanity not only in the definitive moment of Incarnation, but in every moment of our lives. If we only had eyes to see and ears to hear, we would notice that God is constantly removing obstacles in our path that we might draw nearer to the Divine Mystery. If we were only awake and aware, we would experience epiphanies on a regular basis: God's Revelation can be found in every created thing, in the inter-connectedness of all living beings, as well as in the rhythms of the universe. God comes to us not just as the Holy Child but in every moment of grace, in every experience of love, in every occasion of forgiveness. God is present in every new opportunity, in every new beginning, in every lesson learned, in every step we take towards living happier and more productive lives, in every act of generosity or self-giving. As surely as the Bridegroom springs across mountains and leaps over hills to meet his Bride in the Song of Songs (2.8), so God approaches us; as surely as the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son runs to meet the returning prodigal, and then embraces and kisses him, so God runs towards us (Lk 15:20). The question is, are we available or do we miss the moment?

Spirituality is a two-way street. God knocks on our door but do we open? One of my favorite quotations is from the Book of Revelation: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any hear my voice and open the door, then I will enter their house and dine with them and they with me" (3:20). Sometimes we are too distracted to even hear the knock, no matter how loudly or persistently God tries to get our attention. It could be that we are overwhelmed by life's circumstances, or that we have taken a "detour" from the spiritual path, or that we don't feel the need for God, or that we are angry with God for one reason or another, or that we afraid that God won't forgive us for something we have done or failed to do. Sometimes, we hear selectively, when it is convenient --especially when we are going through hard times: we might open the door ajar or at least speak through the intercom to the Holy One on the other side, before slamming the door shut again. God gets left outside in the cold but our own home gets colder still, as cold as the morgue....

Advent is a time for being "woke" (my favorite millennial word!) If we are "woke," then we will notice how God has filled in the valleys and leveled the mountains to reach out to us; if we are "woke," then we will not only hear God's Voice and hear the knock on the door, but we will open that door as wide as we possibly can, inviting the Holy One to sit at our table and dine with us. Then we will feast without end.....

  1. Can you recall any moments when God approached you and you actually noticed?
  2. Can you recall any moments when you wished God had approached you? Is it possible that you simply didn't notice God's Presence?
  3. Have you ever ignored God's knock on your door?
  4. How might you open your door to Christ this Advent?