True obedience

The meditation for today from the Magnificat Advent Companion:

Our Lady of GHow appropriate that commemoration of the events that lead to the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe begin immediately after the feast of the Immaculate Conception.  For Mary, preserved from original sin, knows that the deepest and truest need of our heart is to be loved by God and to experience the unique preference he has for each of us.  True obedience flows from our rejoicing over this preference.  The serpent lied to Adam and Eve and made them think that the greatest human need is to be as powerful as God.  We have sustained this wound, which makes us mistakenly think that to achieve and to impress is more satisfying than simply to be loved, when the merest reflection shows the opposite to be true.  We see the interplay between Mary’s sinless clarity and the wound of original sin in her dialogue with Juan Diego, when he complains that he is not accomplished enough to be an emissary to the bishop.  Mary reminds him that he is chosen, he has been preferred, and this is all that is necessary; in fact, this is everything.  Let us pray to our Lady for our conversion, that our experience may teach us that it is not relying on accomplishments, but rather rejoicing in his love that makes our lives bear the fruit of his presence.  (Fr. Richard Veras, emphasis added)

Christ in the unexpected

Advent has begun, and things have probably already not gone according to plan.  (You couldn’t find those purple and pink candles in stores that do not sell them anymore . . .)   Here is a beautiful little meditation by Fr. Richard Veras on Christ coming to us in the unexpected:

In Advent the Church turns our attention to the two comings of Christ.  Both were unexpected.  No one expected God to take on flesh and become human; and Jesus warns us that the second coming will be at a time that we do not expect.  The Church also considers the coming of Christ that exists between the two comings, i.e., his coming to us in the present through sacraments, persons, and circumstances of our lives.  As his coming in the past and his coming in the future are unexpected, it would seem reasonable to expect that his coming in the present would happen in unexpected ways.  Reflect on how much of your present life is the fruit of events and encounters that you could not have planned.  Do you believe that these are not just accidents, but rather gifts of God’s love through Christ’s presence?  This would be the reasonable Christian belief.  May our faith and our reason lead us to be especially awake to Christ’s presence this Advent season, and may our hearts be humble and desirous enough to welcome his presence in the yet unimagined ways he will reveal himself.  May he grow in our lives as he grew in the life of Mary. (Magnificat Advent Companion 2008)