Monday, December 23, 2013

Reflection for Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

The readings for the day can be found here.

Every day, I make a to-do list. A list of emails, assignments, phone calls, and appointments to make; the list continues even after my 8 am – 7 pm student life, with what to eat, when to exercise, and what shows to watch.  I organize my time meticulously so that I can get everything done.  Today’s readings remind me that maybe I should be prioritizing differently.  Don’t get me wrong – I set aside time every day to pray with God.  I ready myself, breathe deeply, and go through a laundry list in my head.  I start with gratitude and then move to petition, listing everything that’s on my heart.  And then my time is up, and I continue on, moving down my to-do list.
But how often do I leave time for listening to God? How open am I to what He wants for me? The more I seek to control my own day, my own prayers, and my own life, the less I open myself to what God desires for me.  Sitting with today’s Responsorial Psalm, I think about how I don’t give God the opportunity to teach me His ways or His paths; I’m too busy telling Him what I think I need.  Elizabeth and Zechariah were listeners, and I want to be a listener too.  I want to be open to the life that I could have, and the life that God is offering me.  I want to be present to the graces in front of me, to feel the Holy Spirit in my daily life. And maybe if I could quiet myself, I’d be a better listener.

Advent gives us the chance to receive Christ into our lives each year.  And each year we ready ourselves, perhaps marveling at the beauty of the Incarnation or the strength of the Holy Family.  We actively prepare for Christ.  But God also calls us to be passive; He wants to move us to a profound understanding of what Christ’s presence means in our lives. He wants to guide us to prepare for what is coming, if we will let Him.

Julia Thomas is a senior Psychology and Spanish Major and Retreat Chair for Christian Life Communities.

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