Monday, December 16, 2013

Reflection for Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday of the Third Week of Advent

I agreed to do an Advent reflection at the request of Patrick Cousins. I felt honored to be asked; yet, as the deadline to submit my reflection approached, I found myself so tempted to reach out and say I couldn't accomplish my reflection for a few reasons:

1. Final projects and final exams are stressing me out.
2. I didn't manage my time well.
3. I was struggling with interpreting my readings because it has been a while since I’ve done something like this. 

But I made a commitment to Patrick and to the SLU community and I wanted to honor that. And I knew it would be good for me to slow down especially at a time when I was finding it the most challenging and reflect. So here it is… 

As a child, I remember each week anticipating the next candle being lite on the advent wreath. I remember pink as the special candle, after the pink was lite we were over halfway, just one more candle and then it would be Christmas. The countdown to the coming of Christ was like no other time of the year, and I was always fully engaged in preparing for His coming. My family would light our wreath at home each night and pray special advent prayers before dinner.

The same excitement and anticipation remains within me as an adult, but at times, I find it more challenging to stay focused on preparing myself amongst the reasons listed above: final exams, final projects, holiday shopping and parties, poor time management and the like. Even as I sat to write my reflection, the thought of what other tasks I needed to complete crept into my mind.

It is easy to be distracted but today’s Reading 1 and Responsorial Psalm remind me that all I need to do is ask for guidance and God will answer. God gave voice to Balaam in the Reading 1 and in the Responsorial Psalm we see:

Good and upright is the Lord;
Thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
He teaches the humble his way.
Teach me your ways, O Lord.

During Advent, I aim to be more like my child self, rather than my adult self that is trying to accomplish it all and getting so easily distracted. God is available for me and willing to guide me. Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of Christ. I challenge myself and others to slow down amongst the challenges of life and engage in the preparations this Advent season.

Katie Wang is a Development Assistant in the John Cook School of Business.

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