When I was a child, there were Advent calendars on which doors were opened at each date, to reveal different religious scenes in preparation for Christmas. It was a simple way of teaching children the mystery of Jesus and the place of waiting for Christmas. Well some years ago Advent Calendars made a comeback but what in different forms, firstly chocolates behind the doors, now, lego, money, finger puppets, wine, seemingly anything except Jesus. A strange one from a few years ago was on The Economist website. It gave graphs and data concerning different countries of the world. Amongst the data were the following: Australia has one of the highest rates of well-being and wealth and we have the highest rate of gambling loss in the world – by a long shot. So how come so many people who are ‘healthy and wealthy’ throw away so much money.
We don’t live on bread, or wealth or health alone. Deep in our hearts is a deep passionate need for something more. Quite simply we are made for God, and if we don’t seek God, we may try to fill that hunger with other needs. Why don’t people see this readily? Because love calls on us to transcend ourselves, to put others - whether it is God, a spouse or children - before ourselves and that is not easy. God knows this and so sent his Son, Jesus to show us how it is done and to be with us on the journey. As you seek to show love this Christmas, ask Jesus to be with you as companion and guide. Let each situation be like a little door which you can open and recognise that “God is with us”.
Loving God, send us your Spirit over this coming Christmas so that we may allow Jesus to come into our lives with his love and his life. We ask this in his name, confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb