by Fr Duncan McVicar on 14/12/2014 -
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:3-5)
Advent longing is a sign of the purpose of our personal journey of faith – that each one of us becomes an original reflection of Jesus in our own lives. Each one of us is called to become “another Jesus”. John’s Gospel proclaims the history-making message: “And the word became flesh…” (John 1:14). Jesus desires to “become flesh” in us. We make him present and active in the world through the way we live. We are his presence in the world. This image of Jesus is unique to each one of us. God knows already what original image of Christ we will become. He sees not only the day of our birth, or how we will get through the many storms of life, he also sees us in eternity, sharing completely in his divine life. God gradually unfolds his original image of Jesus in us according to his plan. The aim of Advent longing is to help us become an original image of God’s love, wisdom and power. St Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, once described the redeemed person in this way: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). In Christ we see the dawning of a new age and the creation of new life within. This new creation means that we live from the conviction that our entire existence comes from Jesus; we share the life of Jesus, we live like Jesus, we try to think and love like Jesus. If someone is “in Christ”, he or she becomes a new person altogether. We always keep looking for the new dawn, new possibilities, new life. We are all created in the “image and likeness of God” – each one in his or her own specific and original way. Our individual originality as “another Jesus” unfolds in our lives according to God’s purpose. What do we know about God’s plan? Firstly, we know that his plan is a plan of love. We are all “products” of God’s love. That’s why we yearn for love ourselves. We want to be loved, we need to be loved, and we also want to love others in return. Love is the key to understanding God; it is also the key to understanding the human person. Secondly, God’s plan is a plan of wisdom. Even when things look bleak or confusing, even when the situation is dire and we can’t find God, or see a “light at the end of the tunnel” – God is still unfolding his plan of wisdom in our lives. No one could create a better plan for us – ever. When suffering and troubles, hurts and disappointments come along, we would surely be able to bear them more easily if we believed and trusted that even these difficult experiences and situations are part of the Lord’s plan for us. Thirdly, God’s plan is a plan of power. Nothing can stop him from realizing his plan in us. His ways are often hidden, and he will use every path we take, every stone or obstacle that is placed before us, every unexpected occurrence and experience, every choice we make, to realize his great purpose for our lives more and more. We are all the “result” of his love, wisdom and mighty power.
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