Accepting Light Opportunities: A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, 2020

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Accepting Light Opportunities: A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, 2020

In the Prologue to the Rule of Benedict we read: Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from God, and our ears to the voice of heaven that every day calls out this charge: “If you hear God’s voice today, do not harden your hearts.”

The light of God shines upon us and invites us to take hold of the opportunity to venture beyond our ordinary ways of seeing and hearing. That same light enveloped Mary as she experienced the presence of the angel Gabriel.

Luke 1:26-38

THE LORD IS WITH YOU

Okay.  Yes, I know the Lord is with me. I’ve heard that promise expressed in scripture verses and in multiple homilies and sermons. This is the first time a heavenly being has proclaimed the presence of God to me. I’m not sure what to make of this.  How can God be more present than present?                                                                       

DO NOT BE AFRAID 

How can I not be afraid as an out of the ordinary visitation is upon me? This could signal an overturning of my ordinary life.

YOU HAVE FOUND FAVOR WITH GOD

I’m not sure I like where this is going. Someway or other I deserve this heavenly interruption in my ordinary life? If I’ve found favor, does that mean a big change will be coming to disrupt my predictable life? If I recall correctly, our ancestor Abraham was singled out and told to leave familiarity to claim the promise of land and descendants. He was quite elderly at the time and this seemed quite a disruption in his life. Then, Moses risked life and limb and countless complaining on the way to the promised land. It seems to me that finding favor with God means a radical shift and I don’t know if I’m ready for such a calling.

HOW CAN THIS BE?

This calling doesn’t make any sense. My life is pretty much planned and I’m happy how it is turning out.                                                                                            

THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL COME UPON YOU

Yes, I need big time guidance if what you say is true. Ever since my birth you have been with me. I am grateful for your presence and so I shall not fear. This is indeed an opportunity to be infused with the real presence of God within me.

NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD

Therefore, I consent to this opportunity and my spirit rejoices.                               

We have daily opportunities which God is calling us to embrace. Brother David Steindl-Rast suggested a simple formula to live by:

STOP Watch out for the helter-skelter hinderances. Take time to be quiet.   

LOOK Open one’s senses and heart to the wonderful gifts of opportunity.  

GO Really embrace the call and do something. Accepting this opportunity and acting on it can change our world. 

A rare light opportunity awaits us this Monday, December 21. An amazing, other worldly phenomena will take place. The planets Jupiter and Saturn will look like they are nearly touching and so will create a radiant point of light. The last time they were aligned in such a way was during the Middle Ages in 1226 A.D. 

What is equally surprising and delightful is that this alignment or conjunction is what astronomers call the Nativity Star. Why? In 2 B.C. Jupiter and Venus plus the bright star Regulus aligned.

Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from God, and our ears to the voice from heaven that every day calls out this charge, ‘If you hear God’s voice today, do not harden your hearts.’

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