When God Draws Near
Each year, I ponder the same question. If I had been allowed to be part of the First Christmas, what person would I have chosen to be? This makes for a very moving meditation. First of all, I would try to make the stable a warmer place. I would close the doors and windows of the stable and rearrange the straw to give more warmth and comfort. I would welcome the shepherds, and listen to the songs of the angels.
After conferring with Mary and Joseph, I would quietly and reverently kneel before the Infant and let happen in my heart whatever happens. I would look out the window to see if I could find a special star, somewhat in the same way we look for stars here at the monastery. I would pray in secret, and ask a star to take all my concerns to the skies.
We are told that Advent is a time of new beginning. For many of us, Christmas is one of our favorite times. There is the sense that God is gradually drawing very close to us. In the Gospel Philippians, we read: “I am confident that the one who began this work in you will bring it to completion.” Possibly, some of this happens during Christmas time. God comes to remind us and show us how to love.
Related to this, we have the love letter in the Song of Songs, 2:14: “Let me see your face, Lord. Let me hear your voice.” We need to remind ourselves that one of God’s gifts is that of God drawing near and deeply loving us. Truly, this is the meaning of Christmas.
As we await the nearness of God, it is for us to pray that our capacity for love will increase. Drawing close to us is one of God’s gifts. Truly, this is God’s desire that never ends. Christmas happens. Little by little, we come to know and believe that we ourselves are loveable.
Karl Rahner, S.J., tells us that we need not seek God beyond the stars. Because of Christmas, God is with us wherever we are, and nearest to us in the quiet room of our heart.
Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D