Friday, December 19, 2008

Advent Reflection 3

But the angel said to him, ‘Zechariah, do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard. (Reading from Mass)

After I wrote about “Do not be afraid” yesterday, today was a day that seemed to be trying to drive the point home to me!

I tried to get a bit of silence and reading after the kids were up this morning. I have been using a reflection book that uses quotes from Henri Nouwen for each day, and a bit of Scripture. Nouwen’s words for today contained this:

“The Days before Christmas must be days of deep prayer to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. We must be really ready to receive him. Christ wants to be born in us, but we must be open, willing, receptive, and truly welcoming.”

I heard again about the things that matter. How much of my fear is about externals. About how Christmas can transform my worry, my doubt, my mangy selfishness – but only if I “let it go” (as someone I know well continually says!) and allow the child in . . . do not be afraid!

Later this morning I had the privilege to be a musician at a friend’s mother-in-laws funeral mass. It is a privilege because when we hear anothers life story we can marvel at their faith and their achievements. To hear about the hidden self of another is an encouragement, a testament to living in Christ from baptism to death, and the wonders that God brings.   

Yet again, I heard “do not be afraid”.

Just as I sat to write to you this afternoon I checked my email and in the inbox was the Christmas Letter from Archbishop Philip Wilson. Guess what!?! His theme: “When we welcome Jesus into our hearts and into our lives, we begin to make sense of the things happening around us. Hope, joy and peace begin to take the edges off our anxiety and fear . . . (You can read the whole thing here:

Anyway, I hope that all of us are getting the message! Facing the Christchild brings me to the truth about myself and others – that we are beloved by God and that God is with us and with all of creation. Our struggles and fears find their place in that mystery.  I’m gonna try living that a little today.

With Love