How can Jesus be born in us every day?
Sunday, December 8, 2019 – Second Sunday of Advent, Year A
As we enter the Second Week of Advent, the Church puts before us the life and witness of John the Baptist. In the Gospel for this Sunday, John calls us to “make straight the pathways of the Lord”
! God wants to lift up the valleys in our lives and lower the mountains in order to make pathways for Him in our lives.
The message of John the Baptist was a message of CONVERSION
, calling all people to turn to God with all their heart. Conversion can often be seen as a big and heavy word, but as we prepare for Christmas, I would propose seeing conversion as a pathway for Jesus to be born in us every day
. As we approach the joyful celebration of Jesus’ birth, when God comes to us as a human being, let us look at two major ways of preparing the pathways of our hearts and our lives to God so Jesus can be born in us.
The first major way for Jesus to be born in us is to open our hearts to Him
so that He can enter us more and more. God is already present in our lives, He is with us always. So often, we can remain far from Him even though He is near and close. How can we be more aware of God present in our lives and allow Him to be more active in us? How can we receive His love and mercy as our tender Father? How can we talk to Jesus as a friend? How can we call upon the Holy Spirit to help us powerfully in our lives? How can we open our hearts to let God in? Jesus wants to come and be born in us to live in us every day. The steps we take to let Him into our lives will vary from person to person, but prayer can be a huge help in allowing God to be more and more alive in us. Praying with a favourite passage from the Bible, with the psalms or the Gospels, praying by simply thanking God in a moment of joy, asking His help for a friend in need, taking quiet time in God’s presence at home or at church, setting up a crèche or nativity scene
with our family – all of these are possible pathways of inviting God into our lives each day, for Christ to be born.
A second way of preparing a place for Jesus to be born in us is by finding Him alive in our neighbour
. Each one of us is a pathway through whom God wants to reach others, and all of those around us are pathways through whom God wants to reach us. Our family, our friends, our colleagues, those in need in our community and abroad – God wants to reach us through our neighbour, and He wants to reach our neighbour through us. Loving one another, being at peace with each other, doing a good deed without wanting any recognition, doing something thoughtful or generous, the ways of reaching out to one another in God are as endless as His grace and our imagination!
As we prepare for Christmas, let us open our hearts so God can enter us more and more each day, and let us find Him in those around us. May God come to them in us as He comes to us in them. Thus Jesus will not only have been born in a stable 2000 years ago, He will be born in us every day
Julian Paparella has contributed to Salt + Light Media since 2012. He served as an intern for many summers and currently studies theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris.