Do you ever feel alone around the holidays? Have you felt lonely even when you are surrounded by family and friends?
The days leading up to Advent are days of darkness. It’s a time of emptying to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ at Christmas.
As I reflect today on the start of Advent and my own personal emotions these past few weeks, I begin to wonder if loneliness is an emptying of oneself to make room for Christ.
If all things come from God except our sin then perhaps God allows us to feel lonely to increase our longing for Him. What if feelings of loneliness are God’s way of letting us know that He is waiting for us to go deeper in love with Him by freeing us of all those things that occupy and fill our space? This emptying allows us to be more present and open to what He is getting ready to prepare us for.
For me this brings great hope, just in time for the start of Advent.
Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year and a time of waiting for God’s plan to unfold through the first coming of Jesus. At Mass, in his homily the Deacon mentioned that in the document General Norms of the Liturgical Year and Calendar, Advent is defined as a “devout and expectant delight.”
It is a start of a new journey of hope, faith, joy and peace.
In todays reading, Isaiah 2:5 we here a proclamation to each of us, “Let us walk in the light of the Lord!”
As you begin this journey, imagine you are walking on a dark path that has a tiny shimmer of light in front of you as you walk, just enough light for you to know the next step on your path.
Light is defined as many diffent things. It is a source of illumination, the energy that allows us to see a wide spectrum of color, an aspect of appearance or state of being that is revealed. It can be used to describe art or a gleam within our eyes.
The one definition that stands out to me in the context of Isaiah 2:5 is not of a physical light, a visual illumination, but an enlightenment, an illumination of the spirit. I think this is exactly the start of our journey today. It is an illumination of our spirit that is shining upon our footsteps just enough to guide us. God wants us to be excited, so He doesn’t reveal all of our journey to us. He wants us to anticipate the next surprise He has for us. He wants us to be devout in the present moment and expect a delight that only He can give us.
As you walk through your day today, be in tune with this illumination of your spirit. It may be just a tiny shimmer of light. Jot it down. It could be as simple as a smile exchanged with someone that radiates God’s love of you through the community surrounding you.
At the end of your day, I invite you to review these moments you were enlightened by the Lord, when He illuminated your spirit. You may be surprised at how many moments you observed by being present to them and perhaps they may even begin to reveal a treasure map that is guiding you to something greater.