Perspective is important. I recently had the experience of visiting Masada National Park in the Judaean Desert looking out over the Dead Sea. Masada is an ancient fortress built by King Herod the Great around 35 BC, and when you are standing at the top of the mountain looking down at the desert and water below, there is a sense you are really rather high in the sky. In fact, the Dead Sea is planet earth`s lowest place at 430 meters below sea level, and even though Masada is 450 meters high, it is only 58 meters above sea level. It left me with an odd feeling because the way I experienced being on top of the mountain at Masada was a bit out of synch with the reality of the geography. Luckily, I had a tour guide to help with my limited perspective.
We often hear the Season of Advent is a time of preparation and waiting in joyful hope for the earthly arrival of God in human form, Jesus. Advent is also a time to await and prepare for the promised return of Jesus. These words roll of my tongue fairly easily, and I can write them without thinking almost, but how do they relate to the lives of normal people seeking good news and light in a wounded world? Sr. Ilia Delio is a Franciscan Sister of Washington, D.C. and is also a professor of theology specializing in the area of science and religion. I recently heard Sr. Ilia say something in a video that resonated with me, and loosened my perspective. She said that during Advent, “we are not waiting for what is not there, we are, in a sense, attending to what is already there…we are called to awaken to what is already in our midst. God is waiting for us to wake up.”
St. Paul’s prayer that ‘our love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value’ is a prayer for transformative change. It is a prayer that we may see beyond our comfortable perspective and awaken to an already present God wanting to be known among us, a God who is in fact, waiting in joyful hope for our return.
Office of Youth Faith Development, Archdiocese of Moncton