As we look at our calendars, which measures every day, cronos time-the annual spiritual tsunami has passed. The waves of grace which washed onto the our shores of our souls during the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany, have accomplished their mission. They have come and receded back into the original ocean of infinite, eternal grace. These waves of grace have washed onto the shores of our souls, with what results?
After an ocean storm, you have the beachcomber who searches the beaches. They are seeking, searching for “treasure" left behind, as the result of the storm. It must be so exciting when she/he is surprised by some "gem" washed up on the shore. So at this time, I would like to suggest that each one of us don the mantle of beachcomber. We, too must take the time to seek out, and search out those life giving gifts, treasure that has been deposited on the shores of our souls by the recent "storm". The beachcomber has no shopping list. What she/he discovers is looked on as a gift from the ocean. There is gratitude for what has been gifted. As they can have no expectations, and hence with no expectations, the beachcombers must have an attitude of gratitude for the gift right there before them. They are in gratitude and not resentment. We are here taught the lesson, gratitude and resentment cannot coexist. That is a great lesson to learn. We cannot be grateful, thank-full and resent-full, at the same time. So, there is a choice to be made, by us, and we are responsible for that decision. We are placing ourselves in either gratitude or resentment, nobody else can be blamed, or held responsible. How often I have wished it was healthy to be able to blame somebody else.
Grace, will wash upon the shores of our souls, all that will ever need at any given moment. Our needs are always met, but not in the way we want, or expect. Our needs are always GUARANTEED, our selfish, self centered greed, no way. Our God is so healthy, He will never give us that which is spiritually unhealthy for us. There are times, I have wished, no wanted, my God to be a little more codependent, just a wee bit. It is only when we look back at our lives we see the wisdom of our Father/Mother God in not giving us what we so desperately wanted at the time. Remember that old song that brought this point home? Did it not say that God's greatest gifts were prayers that were NOT answered.
Life, we are told is lived, looking forward, but understood, looking backward. In order to look backward, we have to take the time to stop, look, listen. This process will lead us to
discover the lessons learned, and that which we still have to learn.
This so necessary time is provided by the liturgy, which " is the work of the people." Yes it is work. It is a struggle to let go of all those outward demands so as to pay attention to what our minds, souls, spirit demands of us. This demand is met as we celebrate the community prayer, we call, liturgy. In the time we set aside to celebrate liturgy we celebrate the now moments, we call time. In the celebrations, different layers of meaning are revealed, for us to give reverence. As a consequence, we are led into the ever-deepening mystery of God present in all time. There is NO ordinary time. All time is sacred, all time is holy.
To be connected to The Mystery of The Incarnation as any everyday experience, what must happen? We must allow the lenses of faith to be adjusted by The Optometrist . Through the adjustment, the action of grace, we will become aware of the gifts of The Holy Spirit is placing in our lives. That is what happens in each liturgy. Our ability to see enhanced. We do not just have one adjustment, we need constant adjustment. There is always something new happening in our lives which triggers anxiety and fear. We need a place where we are assured that all of this "stuff" is now being worked into the pattern of our life. We need to be reminded it is this "new life” that God will use to reveal who He is. That trauma, conflict, upheaval is not intended by God, He is not that sick. The moment, that very second that pain, loss, tragedy becomes part of our lives, The Holy Spirit is working it into a new pattern. In this new pattern , which we have created, The Incarnation continues becoming a reality, in this mysterious way "creation continues". We have added our unique touch to God's masterpiece. Try that one on for size!!!
Already, in a recent scriptures this has been made this known to us. In times past, God spoke to humankind in fragmentary and various ways, through the prophets. Now in the fullness of time, God has spoken to us through His Son, His exact representation. How did This Son "speak " about His Father-God? Was it through “two bit words”? No, to teach The prophet Jesus, took from the ordinary events and made the eternal connection. He came as a human being to challenge us to see in all that is authentically human His ongoing presence. The events of Advent/Christmas/Epiphany are alive and well as we continue to discover, ever anew, the living, daily presence, of Mary, Joseph, The Shepherds, and The Angels. Where can they be found TODAY living within you? "The crib within" is a reality. It is a lasting, eternal presence, not a temporary scene to be looked at and forgotten. Just because the visible, physical, cribs have been packed away that does not mean their spirituality has ceased to exist. If that happens, then The Holy Family lived in vain. All they endured was for naught. It was a waste of time. So, let us set aside some time to "waste" in silence, so we can come to discover the many and varied treasures washed upon the shores of our souls. Through the eyes of wonder, we will discover what we need, not what we want, is right there in front of us. So until we meet again good beach combing.