More remains to be done following Gaudete Sunday. After lighting the rose-colored candle on the Advent wreath, we may be tempted to ignore the significance of the final purple-colored candle. About this time, the preparations for Christmas start to reach a fever pitch as gifts, holiday recipes, and family traditions all vie for our imagination and attention. Nonetheless, it is still the Advent Season. The final candle must still be lit and pondered.
There is One
After observing Advent this year, while making arrangements for our Christmas celebrations, we may sense in our hearts that “There is one thing you lack.” (Mark 10:21) Amidst all of the bustle, we hear in the silence of our hearts that familiar hollow sound of something missing. In the comfort of holiday cheer, we feel a prick in the depth of our being that something is absent. The relative material sufficiency we enjoy or the good relationships we have cannot fill the unmistakable emptiness, because we lack the one thing.
“There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:42) This Advent, are we preparing our hearts for the “one thing needed?” The one thing is a Person – Jesus, the only Son of God. This is where our Advent waiting and preparation should lead us—to a greater desire for Jesus. To desire Him above all is being true to Advent.
At the heart of the writings of St. Catherine of Siena, a Doctor of the Church, is the desire of God for His creatures. We read in Genesis about God calling to Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). It is not surprising that the whole of Catherine’s doctrine is an exhortation to respond to God’s longing for us, His children. Interestingly, the word desire comes from the Latin root words De Sire, which literally means “of the Father”.
The incarnation of Jesus clearly manifests God’s desire to reach out to us and invite us into His divine life. Christmas is the historic event when God became a man to dwell among us, to call us by name to Himself. In Jesus, God is asking each one of us, ”Where are you?”
Into the Light
Like Adam and Eve, we hide from God. However, our deepest desire is for God.
“The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for…” (CCC 27)
To come out from hiding and respond to God’s call is to uncover the longed for love in the innermost part of our hearts. God sent His Son so that we can know Him and experience His love for us and for others. Jesus is the fulfillment of our deepest desire.
One more candle in the Advent wreath – it reminds us of the need to make the final and most important preparation for Christmas. This preparation must happen at the core of our heart. Let us come out of our concealed places and secret rooms and show ourselves to Jesus, “Here I am.”
Stepping into the Light – into His presence, we will have completed our Advent observance. We will kneel at the foot of the Christ Child on Christmas ‘having the one thing needed, having chosen the better part that will not be taken from us.’
Copyright 2020 Nannet Horton
|Nannet Horton is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, NFP teacher, and CGS catechist. She enjoys being a student of the Catholic faith and teaching it to others. Her first book, “Missionary Parenting – Cultivating the 6 Key Relationships Essential to Your Domestic Church,” is co-written with her husband, Bob.|