Denise Simeone reflects on the mystery Advent in December's Editor's Corner.
I routinely take the same short drive to my office. I am so used to seeing the houses or apartments, the stop signs and traffic lights, that I am often not really paying attention.
But every day something new is happening on that brief drive. I share the way with a myriad and diverse group of travelers as well as activities. People walk hand in hand, joggers run, children jump rope, bicyclists pedal, wheelchairs move. Trees constantly change, snow piles up, icicles drip from roofs, rain water pours over the curb, buds bloom. Every day is different.
When we travel on familiar paths and roadways, there are things on the way that are seemingly hidden from us. We are so used to the routine that we sometimes cannot see what might
be on the path directly in front of us.
Yet in the ordinary is found the extraordinary. I simply need to open my ears, my eyes, my senses. I need to be wide awake!
How many times have we traveled the Advent pathway? Every year we hear similar reminders; every three years we hear these same readings, this year from Matthew’s Gospel. They are so familiar that we might not hear the nuances or the word that might jump at us if we gave over our full attention. Like changing a radio frequency or fine tuning a musical instrument for the clearest sound, we must fine tune our senses as we pray and sing, listen and respond to the richness of this Advent/Christmas season.
What must we do to awaken for this journey once again?
Look east! Look to unusual travelers,signs and stars! Look to the least,the insignificant, the discounted! Look at the ways people choose to be faithful. Look to those who seek and follow Emmanuel. Look on the familiar path you follow every day. Look to those who journey side by side with you.
Yes, let us be wide awake this Advent! Recognize in our human daily encounters the advent of God. The Incarnation all over again. See– look deeply – for in the face of any and all, we meet the Christ. The face of God.