There’s a subtle shift for me today in the Advent theme. Perhaps it will only last until tomorrow but the message of anticipatory waiting is given an additional push from the gospel acclamation – in a rather unusual way. After the psalm I read: Alleluia, alleluia. The Lord will come; go out to meet him! He is the prince of peace. Alleluia, alleluia.
Immediately I saw in my mind’s eye an image from The Little Prince, one of my favorite books, and perhaps the only one that I could still successfully read in French as I know most of the text by heart. The picture was of the Little Prince walking toward me carrying his scepter high in a manner that said, “Here I am; look at me!” I was unable in his presence to just look; I had to stand up and move toward him, smiling.
That may sound absurd but that’s precisely the way things happen sometimes in the spiritual life. Unbidden images are triggered by something – words, weather, music, a photo…and meaning is hidden somewhere inside. The message for me was two-fold. From the words of the psalm I gleaned the truth that the Christ will definitely come to us, no matter our response or lack thereof. We could just notice…or not. The imperative (“Go out to meet him!”) adds an energy that I find in the appearance of the Little Prince today. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,” he says. “What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
As we lean ever closer to Christmas, let us add this wisdom tenet to our preparation, searching always for impetus of “right seeing” that is born of love.