Psalms 1, 2, 3 Isaiah 1:10–20 1 Thessalonians 1:1–10 Luke 20:1–8
Learning that the overall theme of these reflections was “welcoming the Messiah”, my mind quickly jumped to St. Benedict’s “All guests who come should be received as Christ . . . let Christ be adored in them.” (RB, chapter 53) We have, have had and will have endless opportunities to “welcome the Messiah” face-to-face. But how hard it is to do – and realize before, during and after, the full significance of greeting others, whatever the situation, occasion or locale. Perhaps the old familiar saying “practice makes perfect” can help . . . Most folks are easy to welcome or at least we give the impression that is so, but with those who are anything but “Jesus-like”, at least in our minds, it’s often a challenge.
I pondered if it is possible to have hope without faith. I
decided that if I not only had faith that those I am to welcome will have something Christ-like for me to experience, as well as hope that they will, then maybe I’ll see more of Christ within them. Of course, the flip-side must not be overlooked. When I am welcomed, do others see anything Christ-like in me?
Paul’s words to the Thessalonians can also urge us on, as others “always give thanks to God . . . continually remembering . . . your work of faith and labour of love and steadfast hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”What’s the state of your Advent “welcome mat”?
– Mary L. Stewart