As we continue our preparation for Christmas it is easy to forget that the Holy One of Israel is already among us. The waiting we are encouraged to do during Advent is not primarily about Jesus, but us. We are the ones who have to be patient with ourselves as we try to sort through all that we need to do. Only when we are patient with ourselves and others will we have enough time and energy to be joyful.
The wonderful gift of those we most admire in faith is that they seemed never to forgot who they were or what their mission was. Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa of Calcutta come immediately to mind as women who knew their work was of God, and their own success was secondary to the challenge they had to live the Gospel with integrity and hope.
When I think of friends who have died, I almost always remember their goodness and kindness, not their struggles with faith or family. It is a gift, I think, to focus on what worked for others and what works for us on the journey of faith. When we try too hard to rid ourselves of faults our lives can become self absorbed. We worry more about how we are doing than what God wants us to do and be.
Today, cry out with joy for what God has already done in you.
What is the best gift I can bring to the community of faith?