Catholic Charismatic Renewal Center for Chicago
Christmas is such a magical time for little children. For weeks, they are wondering about the gifts they will receive. And then finally, the day has come to open their presents. Finally, the day of revelation has come, when they will get to see what is in those packages under the tree.
In a similar way, as we adults approach Christmas, Jesus wants to give us gifts. He wants to reveal his glory to us. He wants to fulfill our deepest hopes and desires through this revelation, giving us the same joy and sense of promise that St. John described when he wrote, “The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory”(John 1:14).
This is the real promise of the Advent season, Like John, we also have the opportunity to meet Jesus, to see his glory, and to experience his love. Of course, we can’t see Jesus in the same way that John saw him when he walked the earth. But each of us can see Jesus in the same way that the saints have seen him for the past two thousand years. Like them, we can know his love and feel his presence moving in us. Like them, we can embrace him in the living bread of the Eucharist and in the quiet of our prayer.
A simple Invitation. “Come and see.” With these words, Jesus invited Andrew and a friend to spend the day with him (John 1:39). By the end of the day, Andrew came to see Jesus as the Messiah. He was so excited by what he had found that he went to his brother, Simon Peter, and said, “We have found the Messiah” (1:41). Andrew’s excitement must have been contagious, because Peter agreed to come meet this Messiah – and the rest in history.
But Jesus was just getting started. There were so many others he wanted to reveal himself to. The very next day, he met Philip and extended a similar invitation, saying, “Follow me” (John 1:43). Like Andrew, Philip must have been touched by Jesus, because he found his friend Nathanael and told him about Jesus. Now Nathanael had his share of doubts. It seems he knew from Scripture that the Messiah was not supposed to come from Nazareth. But rather than try to answer Nathanael’s doubts himself, Philip simply repeated Jesus’ invitation: “Come and See.” (l:46). It didn’t take long in Jesus’ presence before Nathanael’s doubts disappeared, and he ended up proclaiming, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God!” (1:49).
Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathanael all accepted Jesus’ invitation. When they met Jesus and spent time with him, they saw more than a prophet or a good teacher. Even if it was just an initial recognition that needed further testing and strengthening, they saw that he was the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Just a little time with Jesus was all they needed for him to touch their hearts and change their minds.
It all sounds very exciting, but also very long ago. The real question we should be asking is, “How can I meet Jesus like they did?” And the answer is quite simple. It begins when we accept Jesus’ invitation. Every day Jesus invites us: “Come and see. Come get to know me. Come enjoy my presence.” Once we accept his invitation, all that is required is that we spend time with him, just as Andrew and Philip and the others did. That could be a Mass, in adoration, or I personal prayer – anything that puts us in touch with Jesus and moves our hearts with his love.
Come and See. Just as Jesus asks us to accept his invitation to come and see, the Holy Spirit asks us to let him reveal Jesus to us. Every day, the Holy Spirit stands before us and says, “Let me tell you how much Jesus loves you. Let me show you how magnificent he is. Let me fill you with is power to live a holy life. Let me guide you in all your ways.” All we need to do is response is to say, “Come, Holy Spirit, fill me and my family. I want to know Jesus more today.”
May we all come to believe more deeply that Jesus Christ, the Word of God, wants to reveal himself to us. May we all trust that he wants to give us great and wonderful gifts of graced and wisdom and courage. And most of all, may we all accept his invitation to ”come and see” him every day this Advent. May God bless you all.
“Reprinted with permission of The Word Among Us, 9639 Dr. Perry Rd #126, Ijamsville, Md 21754 Daily Meditations for Advent 2006,www.wau.org 1.800.775.9673.”