A Reflection for Advent from Martin Garsed. ALS
May everyone be filled with peace, hope and trust during this Season of Advent . We are sadly also shrouded by the Covid pandemic, at times overcome with fear and uncertainty as we enter this period of anticipation, looking forward to God' greatest gift, his incarnate Son, Jesus the universal Christ who became fully as we are, human flesh living everyday life.
It is a time for us to strip away the many things, thoughts and attitudes that get in the way of our “active waiting”. Not sitting about but seeking and exploring what this means for each one of us today.
The birth of the Holy Infant is God's gift of His Kingdom, it is here.. He has come to dwell in all humankind, as an personal inner treasure, in our own lifetime, through our every stage as infant, child, young adult, women, men and as elders, for all time. He comes to “fill the gap” between our loving Father / Mother and us that was created by Adam and Eve at the Fall. Jesus comes to be intimately in and with us every step of the way until our dying, when we return home, reunited as one in The Holy Trinity.
The ancient Russian Icon above, depicts this reality. Christ The King deep within his mother Mary. Occupying the whole of her heart and body, her true and full self in her every day. This image is also true for you and me.
We are called to acknowledge this reality in our own life and I invite you to meditate on this reality with the meditation From St Bonaventure below.
BRING FORTH CHRIST
1. Conceive the Son of God in your soul. Allow the Grace of God to “seed” Jesus in your soul and life. Reject evil. Relinquish your ego. Cultivate a spiritual desire. Seek the company, counsel and wisdom of others. Beware of those who discourage you.
2. May the Son of man be born in your soul. “ Put into practice” the resolve to lead a more devout life. Follow the desires of the spirit, solitude, contemplation and prayer. Be sorry and repent of your wrong doing. Be of strong will, reach out to, and teach others.
3. May the Infant Jesus “be named”. Call upon, announce Jesus by name. For He is powerful, grace filled, joyous, and glorious, the Saviour, yours and everyone’s.
4. Go in search; seek the Child (As the Magi did). Seek though meditation and contemplation. Long for Him in your heart. Inquire about Him in prayerful reflection. “He is found” when you confess your sin, listen to the teaching of the Gospel and take the bread and wine in the Eucharist, do good works and pronounce Him to others.
5. Present Jesus the Son of God in The Temple. Take Him to the holy city, Trinity and undivided unity, our GOD take Him to all people.
Give thanks to the Father, who gave you the seed, and resolve to lead a holy life. To the Son who gave you the grace to put it into effect (To be born and named) and to the Holy Spirit, whose strength keeps you steadfast in your life of prayer and good works.
6. Glorify God the Father. Magnify God the Son. Bless and honour God the Holy Spirit.
“Bringing forth CHRIST. Five Feasts of the Child Jesus”,
by St Bonaventure. 13C Franciscan friar.
When we look forward to Christmas we have the nativity scene of The Holy Family in the stable at Bethlehem. But Mary already had Jesus within her being at the Annunciation and she carried Him within, as her King, a painful treasure, all her life. Pondering on these truths from the beginning right through to the foot of the cross, and beyond.
We are invited to do the same and not miss out on this reality in these times how ever good or bad they might be for each of us.
HE is coming.
HE comes as Hope.
HE is coming whether you are ready or not.
HE is coming, so do not worry
HE is calling you to come to Him as he always does.
So will you greet Him ?
Will you prepare a place for Him ?
Will YOU offer HIM your love, or not ?
For it is in HIM we live, move and have our being.