Adventus – in the original meaning, once marked the arrival of the King in some part of his kingdom. In the Christian meaning of Advent, it is the coming of the heavenly King to the earth.
Jesus has already come. But we are not at “home” while in Advent; we need to go back “home” because only then can Jesus enter into our lives. We are often somewhere else with our thoughts and desires. Going back to him means to discover who we are, in the original sense of who we are from the beginning. Going back to ourselves means to discover again that we are the image of God, that we are sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father.
Stop for a moment and reflect upon this truth, let it fill our hearts with the mercy of the heavenly Father who gives us his Son to tell us how important we are, to tell us that we have value as his image.
We pray with the Psalmist, letting God’s mercy touch us
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.
Letter of Maria De Mattia to Serafina Rossi – Nov. 1840
Glory to the blood of Jesus Christ! My dearest Daughter inJesus, Don’t think that I have forgotten you, my dear. Rather, I am always remembering you in the hearts of Jesus and Mary. And I hope that the thought of heaven’s beauty will always keep us more and more united in holy charity.
Let’s not grow weary of the burden we bear, because divine grace can sweeten everything. Trust our blessed God, cast aside melancholy, and take courage. The sight of the One on the cross enkindles our love, and for us this is an immense mercy.
Pay very little attention to your troubles and for love of God think how small they really are. Love order and silence. Humbly ask the grace for this from the holy Virgin. Let’s be done with our acts of impatience if we want to become holy in this short span of life that we have. You know what I mean.
I commend the school and the knitting work. Pray much for me. With all my heart I bless you.
Maria De Mattias Vallecorsa, November, 1840
Keywords for the four weeks of Advents, or four steps of Advent: ARRIVAL, WAITING, LONGING, VIGILANCE, and accepting the beauty of the sky. But not only we are waiting. God is waiting and He wants us. He is waiting to bestow on us true beauty — his own image. He is waiting for us to open our hearts to his merciful love.
During this Advent God is waiting for me …