How A Sacrifice Helped Me Finally Understand: An Unexpected Advent Reflection

by Advent and Christmas, Family, Liturgical Seasons, Meaning of Suffering, Value of Human Life

One year, Jill had her Advent, and her whole life flipped upside down. Awaiting Christmas and the birth of her first child, Jill’s excitement was shattered by an unexpected diagnosis. Jill found God in a new way through this experience and shares how surprising arrivals are often God’s M.O. From the manger to a diagnosis, God is often found in the most unexpected places. (Produced by SpiritJuice Studios)

The birth of Christ had been foreseen and prophesied for centuries, yet it was anything but expected.  Why?

Why is it that only so few were able to read the signs, to take part in the scene, to be there at the right time and right place? Were there not scribes and experts that had dedicated their lives to such forecasts? Were the kings from afar the only ones who looked up to gaze upon the stars and read their annunciation?

Unexpected – An Advent Reflection

The answer, I believe, can be found in 1 Jn 4: 7-8

Dearly beloved, let us love one another, for charity is of God. And every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God:for God is charity.
Knowing of Christ’s coming and taking part in it are two distinct things. While many may know of his coming, few have gone out to encounter him. Sadly, many of us have heard the knock at the door yet remain asleep in our beds, tired from the days of shopping and preparation. Many of us have heard the Angel’s song yet not desired to make the trip all the way to Bethlehem. God, in his wisdom and mercy, knows us, he knows our hearts, our greatness and our weakness. Thus, He comes to us in unforeseen ways, in ways that wake us from our slumber of routinized mediocrity and invites us to take part in the dramatic coming of his Son.

It is when we take part in this dynamic of love, when we decide to give our lives in love of God and neighbor that we begin to grow in our knowledge of God. If we truly wish to grow in understanding of God, of Christ, of the gift of his Coming, we too must be willing to love.

A heart that loves,  offering itself with vulnerable generosity, –a heart like Jill’s– is a heart that learns to see God. A person with a heart such as this, in drawing to gaze upon the Nativity scene, has an inside perspective on the drama being represented. Albeit in a limited way, Jill allowed herself to become limited, to be vulnerable, to become small so that her child might have life. Hers is a heart that has loved and is thus capable of recognizing the coming of He who is Love itself.

God, during this Christmas time, asks each and every one of us to participate in his Plan of Love, each in his or her own particular way. Let us take heart from Jill’s example and have the courage to respond with generosity and faith.

Catholic-Link Donations donate donation donor

Keep Searching, Keep Learning

Our Newest Articles:

A College Student’s Guide To Advent

A College Student’s Guide To Advent

As I walked from the campus library to my dorm with my roommate, we discussed our plans for the weekend. It was a temperate December day in Southwest Florida at Ave Maria University. “Don’t forget!'' My roommate reminded, “Advent begins this weekend. Let’s go to the...

Catholic Gifts For Everyone On Your List!

Catholic Gifts For Everyone On Your List!

It's that time of year once again when we're frantically searching for the perfect gifts for our loved ones. If you have a Catholic in your life to buy for, we've made it easy on you with this incredible list of the best Catholic gifts this year. When you buy from...

You have Successfully Subscribed!