Meditations: Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

Some reflections that can assist our prayer on Tuesday of the first week of Advent.

  • God makes Himself known to us.
  • We need simplicity in order to understand God’s teachings.
  • Our relationship with Jesus sheds light on our daily life.

GUIDED BY Saint Josemaría teachings and example, we have learnt to love the world passionately. We enjoy all the good and noble realities of creation because we know they are God’s gift. At the same time, we are not indifferent to the evil we see in the world, which diminishes its beauty and distances it from God’s loving plan.

Although the causes of these panful situations are many, we can identify one which is of particular relevance: so many people who are ignorant of our Creator’s goodness. “Since we can love God only after knowing Him, it can rightly be said that the biggest enemy of God is ignorance. This is the origin of so many evils, and a great obstacle to the salvation of souls.”[1] In contrast, when we know how much He loves us, when we discover that God desires our happiness, we want to love Him above all things, to draw close to Him because He is the source of all goodness. They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord (Is 11:9).

God used certain men and women in different ages to make Himself known and thus give human beings the opportunity to attain a greater freedom. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law (Gal 4:4), to bring this about. So great is God’s desire that we should know Him that He Himself came in person to declare his loving designs for us.

With heartfelt gratitude, we can unite ourselves to the prayer of praise that Jesus raises to the Father in the Gospel passage from today’s Mass: I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes (Lk 10:21).

BEHOLD, our Lord shall come with power and will enlighten the eyes of his servants.”[2] That promise of wisdom for mankind was fulfilled when Jesus came into the world, for on Him rested the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord (Is 11:2). He continues to be ready to dialogue with each one of us personally in order to teach us, guide us and encourage us. God often speaks to us through people and in different situations, making our whole life an encounter with Him. If we truly strive to have a contemplative life, we will be able to discover in all the events of our day the voice of our God who seeks us out.

In this dialogue, our Lord is waiting for us to address Him trustingly so that He can shed light on what we don’t understand. All we need to do is put ourselves in his presence with simplicity and lay our doubts before Him in a heart-to-heart conversation, knowing that God reveals Himself to the little ones. In contrast, for the ‘worldly-wise.’ our Lord’s words can seem empty of content. Hence we need to keep our heart open and attentive to his word, even if we only partially understand it. “How many obstacles vanish when in our hearts we draw close to this God of ours, who never abandons us! Jesus’ love for his own, for the sick and for the lame, is renewed, expressed in different ways, ‘What is the matter?’ he asks, and we reply, ‘It’s my…’ At once there is light, or at least the acceptance of his Will, and inner peace.”[3]

If we draw close to our Lord with the daring of a child, He will reveal his wisdom to us and make his designs known to us. He will shower us with peace and joy, and grant us the fortitude to cope with the difficulties that life presents.

IN CHRIST we find the fulness of revelation. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him (Lk 10:22). “Jesus does not tell us something about God; he does not merely speak of the Father but is the Revelation of God, because he is God and thus reveals the face of God.”[4] God became flesh in Christ so that we could see Him and enter into a direct relationship with Him, and to make known to us the plans of his wisdom. When we are looking for answers to all the questions life raises, we will be wise to have recourse to Jesus. Our dialogue with Christ has no room for superfluous anxieties or inopportune doubts. All wisdom is contained in the mystery of the Word made flesh: Jesus is the Word of God.

It is easy to imagine the apostles asking Jesus about the meaning of a parable they hadn’t understood well, or for an explanation of some event they all knew about. We can do the same as we begin our conversation with our Lord. A personal and daily relationship with Him leads us to get to know Him ever better, to acquire an affinity with his way of responding to the various circumstances that arise in life. We should ask the Holy Spirit to help us draw light from our dialogue with Jesus, both for ourselves and for others.

We learn many things in the course of our life. Some of them shape our way of thinking, being and acting. Most likely we have received some of these key teachings from our own mother’s life and example. The life of our Lady is a wonderful lesson for us on how to dialogue with our Lord. May we learn from Mary the great trust she had when watching and listening to Jesus!

[1] Saint Josemaría, Letter 11 March 1940, no. 47.

[2] Roman Missal, Tuesday of the first week of Advent, Gospel Acclamation.

[3] Saint Josemaría, Friends of God, no. 249.

[4] Benedict XVI, Audience, 16 January 2013.