Today begins the Advent season for the Celtic Rite Old Catholic Church (CROCC). It is, quite simply, what we make of it.
As Celtic Carmelites, the Advent season is a holy time to contemplate the many events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. In the coming days, I hope to comment on the holy angel delivering Mary the message of her role as mother of the Savior. We can consider Joseph's reaction and obedience. Surely the dusty trip to Bethlehem and disappointment in not finding suitable lodging can take a great deal of contemplation.
For today, I'd like to consider a heavenly aspect. Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity is seen in isolated instances in the Old Testament having "flesh and blood" encounters with God's people. In Advent, we can consider Jesus preparing to leave His Heavenly union with His Father and entering through the veil between heaven and earth to live among us.
How can we understand in human terms the grief Jesus experienced in separating Himself from intimate Divine Love between Father and Son in order to bring Divine Love to a people who have become so unkind to one another. Whether we believe in "original sin" or not, humanity has wandered far from Paradise. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is preparing to bring us home - not only through His sinless example of the joy we can have on earth in fellowship with the Holy Trinity - but by sacrificing all for us. His very life on earth was one of service and love to all of us who can only grasp Divine Love in moments filtered through eyes too selfish to see it in all its glory.
Let us start this Advent season by praying for hearts that choose love over judgment. As Carmelites, we carry within us a zeal for the truth of the Gospels which need never be tempered, yet in those very Gospels is the source of pure love. May we share Christ's love consciously throughout this blessed time.
Brother Joe, CRO. Carm.