“Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel.” - Isaiah 7:14
What greater joy can their be than the announcement of God coming to be amongst man? What can fulfill us more than this intimate interaction with the one who made us? This promise of immanence and encounter with God are the greatest blessings that we can receive in this life.
Our first reading today comes from the Book of Isaiah in which God promises the House of David a sign of His presence through a son born by a virgin. This promise is obviously completed in the Annunciation and brought to total fulfillment at Christmas in the Incarnation. This promise in the build-up to Christmas is an encouraging reminder of what is to come in the next few days.
We have been working so hard for the last two and a half weeks to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. We have recognized where we have fallen short and reconciled ourselves to God. We have worked on allowing our hearts to be conformed to the will of God as we get ready for Him to enter into our world. We have waited in silence with God, knowing that He is with us wherever we go.
And now, with only five days left before Christmas, I want to place one more challenge before you all. Look around your life and see how God is present in your life. Perhaps this means making a list of the moments you feel God’s presence or working on your awareness of Him being close to you. And as you come to more fully recognize all of this, just be grateful. Thank the Lord for all that He has done, is doing, and will do with you and pledge yourself to continue on in loving service to Him.
Let us pray,
Thank you God for your goodness in our lives. You have blessed us beyond measure and we are fulfilled by you. Keep us ever mindful and grateful for all that you have done for us and help us to continue to pursue you in all that we do.
This reflection was written by Kevin Effron
Kevin Effron is a first year Master of Divinity student at the University of Notre Dame. He is working at Verso Ministries this year as his ministry placement for his M.Div. and is the proud creator and organizer of Prepare the Way. Kevin hopes that you find this retreat as spiritually fruitful to meditate upon as he did while helping to put it all together.