Friday, 17 December 2010

Some thing's Missing

Last week in his homily Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York was sharing a story about his first year in New York. He shared that he was disturbed that St. Patrick's Cathedral had put out the entire manger scene at the very beginning of Advent. Traditionally we Catholics do not put out the "creche" until Christmas Eve. This symbolically helps us to appreciate the difference between the waiting of Advent, and the celebration of Christmas. The Pastor's explanation to the Archbishop was that with 1.5 million visitors to the Basilica over Advent, it would be a shame not to take the opportunity to remind those visitors of the true meaning of Christmas.

The Nativity scene was almost complete, and was only missing the baby Jesus in the crib. A young boy, about 6 or 7 years old, approached the manger with his father, and observed, "Dad, some thing's missing. Where is the baby Jesus?"

And there it is, our Advent Journey described by a 7 year old. Some thing's missing.

The Archbishop observed in his homily that philosophers and poets, writers and psychologists even those who do not profess a particular faith, tell us that at it's core human existence is incomplete. We try to fill that void in some very frustrating ways, from possessions to pornography to promiscuity and power, but we can't fill the hole in our hearts. Only one person can; God.

God wished to be born to the care of a lowly couple, Mary and Joseph, and in the humblest of places, a manger. He's God, he could have chosen anywhere, but instead He chose an unlikely place in the most humble of circumstances, and He does so again.

If we're open to it, if we can admit that something is missing and we won't be complete until we find Him, then we will have begun to prepare a place for him in the lowliest and once again in the most unlikely and humble place He could be born. We will have prepared a place in our hearts.

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