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Adventing… a microcosm of real life

So, my latest column at Patheos is the requisite nod to the liturgical calendar, but its more about ALL the comings of Christ in my experience… that the season of Advent really lights up an awareness of the sacred found in every day.

Here’s a excerpt:

Advent is not just a liturgical season, it’s a spiritual reality that has been touching, moving, and changing me all my life. In Advent, we prepare ourselves to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord’s coming. In this season, I reflect not only on the coming of Christ in history, but Christ’s coming to my own personal history. His presence is tangible in all the advents of my life.

Advent means “coming,” “arrival,” or “appearance.” These all makes sense when I relate “advent” to the coming of Christ. By the miracle of the Incarnation, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and became man. Through that same incarnation, I can understand the Lord’s coming in all the “advents” of my own life.

Let’s start with my conception and being alive in my mother’s womb—my “coming.” My mother was, and is, an active Catholic. During her pregnancy with me, she received communion during Mass. As she “received” the Lord, in some way, so did I. As the Lord touched my mother through those frequent communions, he also touched me. For as a mother is fed, so is her unborn child. All nutrition passes from mother to child. The body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist pumped through my veins even as a tiny baby hidden from the world but known to God and my parents.

The next advent or appearance of Christ was at my baptism. Even if I was not fully aware of my being baptized as an infant, I didn’t need to be. I was baptized into the faith of the Church. Christ’s presence permeated the process of my “becoming.” “In him, we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28  RSV).”

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