We in the Church are in a season called Advent. The beginning of the Church’s New Year. The Season that ushers in the joyful season of Christmas. It is in this season that preparations are made towards a fun filled and wonderful Christmas.
I participated in an Advent Retreat, and I also learnt a few things which I would like to share. Pause a moment, and think about the whole year, and realize how fast it has passed, think about the previous years you have spent, and realize how time flies. But also look back and consider how fast we have been running to meet up with the times. The busyness of our every day, the stress of work or school, the fight to make ends meet,etc. For it pays to retreat from all the rush of life in order to look back and reconsider what exactly is the purpose of the race, how far have we come, and how the race has been, finally, where are we actually headed? This is what this period offers us, a time to calm down, a time to wait, and in waiting, consider a few things before moving on. For sometimes life can go so fast, we can move so fast in life that in the end we might finally realize, that we never really lived it.That is the first thing I learnt.
And the lesson in love is one which we recite very often. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten so, that whosoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life. Cf. john 3:16. This is true, especially when we consider that man as worthless as he is, should get that which he does not deserve, in its infinite value. We offended him, but out of love, he chose to placate himself in his Son, and yet satisfy divine justice, all for us. We can only guess the extent of the love he has for us. God is madly in love with man. And is it not right that we owe him our love? we owe him our lives and everything in it.
But how else do we love God, if not by loving all those he loves. How can we claim to love the God that we do not yet see, when we fail to love our neighbor that we see? Cf. 1 John 4. The poor, the needy, the less privileged of society, the man or woman who has offended us, or whose behavior and attitude we do not like.
This reminds me of something I learnt from the venerable servant of God, that love has three intimacies, Sight, Hearing and Touch. The lover wants to see and be seen by the one loved, wants to hear and be heard by the one loved, wants to touch and be touched by the one loved. This is why Christ came, out of love, for us. And this is why he left for us, a memorial of his body and blood, so that the lover will constantly fuel the intimacies between him and his love. We should then likewise extend these intimacies to those around us, that they would through us feel the love of the master.