We enter the Third week of Advent and we are invited to rejoice because the coming of the Lord is getting near.
How are we proceeding with our preparation to Christmas? Are we making room for Emmanuel: God-with-us?
John the Baptist takes central stage this week. He is portrayed as someone who is having doubts about Jesus. The “one who is to come” did not fulfill his expectations and so John is left wondering: are you the one or are we supposed to wait for someone else?
How many times I have experienced this in my life. I expected God to behave in a certain way and instead He completely disappointed me. But then, just as John the Baptist did, I had to face a difficult reality: I have to “update” my understanding of God’s will constantly. God is not bound by my desires; it is I who must do His will. John the Baptist, like many of us, had to learn this reality the hard way. He learned it when Jesus helped him to keep in mind the Good News, the Gospel as a whole not the only “according to me.” What a lesson!
We may find it hard to accept that Jesus is “his own person.” It is hard to recognize Him in our difficulties but once we trust Him, once we allow Him to be who He is then we can certainly see wonderful things.
I found this story from Esther who lives in Switzerland. She tells us “I am the mother of three children. The third, after a difficult path in junior high school, he entered into the drug scene. Day after day we noticed he was losing something: himself. In our family he became the black sheep. Whenever he came back home, if he came, the air in the house changed. I realized that he was more in need of my care and of my love than the others. I had to put both my imagination and intelligence to work in order to understand what to do.
One day he had been missing for several days and we were all very concerned about him. Because I couldn’t take it anymore I went to look for him in a park where his “group” used to hang. I saw him sitting on a bench with other friends. They were surrounded by empty bottles. When he saw me he began to yell at me vulgarities. I had to resist the temptation to yell back or respond. I remained calm. He began to insult me. I remained calm, standing there before him. He, then, began to cry, and then slowly subsided. He tried to get up but couldn’t. He fell right in front of me. I tried to get him up and someone of his friends helped me to carry him to the car. At home he cried the whole night. After a few days, he agreed to enter into a therapeutic community. It was a long road.
Since then, I went back to the park several times. And every time I tried to help another. And I feel for those other guys the same maternal love I have for my own son. With me it is always someone else. My son is always with me and together we try to see Jesus in all those young men and women living in the park.”