|Jesuit Refugee Service project for refugees from Iraq in Amman, Jordan. (Peter Balleis, SJ/Jesuit Refugee Service)|
In his Christmas homily last year Pope Benedict XVI recalled the words of the Magi who saw the sign of Christ being born and responded: "Let us go there!"
As we make our own journey during this Advent season let us hope and pray that we can respond in haste in our travel toward God and in our interior travel and examination of our own soul. Let us also hope and pray that we can respond in haste along very concrete paths of service of our neighbor.
"Let us go there [too!]"
"In all kinds of ways, God has to prod us and reach out to us again and again, so that we can manage to escape from the muddle of our thoughts and activities and discover the way that leads to him. But a path exists for all of us. The Lord provides everyone with tailor-made signals. He calls each one of us, so that we too can say: "Come on, 'let us go over' to Bethlehem – to the God who has come to meet us. Yes indeed, God has set out towards us. Left to ourselves we could not reach him. The path is too much for our strength. But God has come down. He comes towards us. He has travelled the longer part of the journey. Now he invites us: come and see how much I love you. Come and see that I am here. Transeamus usque Bethlehem, the Latin Bible says. Let us go there! Let us surpass ourselves! Let us journey towards God in all sorts of ways: along our interior path towards him, but also along very concrete paths – the Liturgy of the Church, the service of our neighbor, in whom Christ awaits us."
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You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, As they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, And the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames.
For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
~ Isaiah 9:1-5