Advent is a time when we prepare our hearts to celebrate the Birth of Christ, when God took upon himself our humanity and entered into human history. In His Love, He willed to come down to dwell with us. What is amazing is that this did not end with the single act 2000 years ago that we remember. He desires to draw near to each of us today.
Pope Francis speaks often of this intimacy. He says that it begins with an encounter, a look, a gaze that reaches into the core of the person and this encounter must be founded on Mercy. “Only one who has been embraced by the tenderness of Mercy truly knows the Lord. The privileged place of encounter is the embrace of Jesus’ Mercy regarding my sin.”
Here lies the great struggle. I want to present to God something worthy of His greatness. My imperfections, weaknesses and shortcomings just don’t fit. And yet there is this paradox: He wants to enter into my weakness too, because for Mercy to be present, there must first be a brokenness in need of Love, in need of healing.
God greatly desires to draw close to us, but we must be willing to allow Him in, to meet His gaze, to be lost in the embrace of His Mercy, and not just a part of us, but all of us.
As we enter into this Year of Mercy, may God give us this grace.
- Sister Mary Francis, FSGM