In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee… (Lk 3:1).
This may be an odd verse to focus on in Advent, or anytime when sharing a reflection, but there is a point to this historical piece of information that Luke presents to us in his Gospel today. The point is that Jesus, the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary, was born in time, he was born in a place. The Gospels are not myths.
The Son of God came among us as one of us. This means he experienced what we experience as human beings. He caught colds, he stubbed his toes, he was misunderstood, he felt sad, he cried, yet he also laughed and experienced the simple joys of food and drink, fellowship and conversation, as well as familial and religious celebrations.
Let us continue this Advent, as the Baptist implores us, to “Prepare the way of the Lord.” In doing so, may we remember that Jesus did not run from his humanity, but embraced it. He understands what our challenges are and what we are going through in our daily lives. Jesus meets us where we are in our present condition and loves us as we are with understanding and compassion.
We can let go of compartmentalizing, allocating Jesus to only one hour a week, and instead invite Jesus into all aspects of our lives. As we walk with him and embrace our humanity, we come to see his presence in all we do.
Jesus cleanse our hearts, so to reveal to us more clearly those choices we make and that which we bring into our life that are false truths, apparent goods, and substitutes that separate us from your Father. Help us to let them go so to embrace that which is for our highest hope and good, that which is True, and Good, and Beautiful.

Painting: “Jesus Lauging”, by Ralph Kozak 1976
Link for the Mass readings for Sunday, December 9, 2018: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/120918.cfm

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