Advent Devotional

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent, Nov. 30, 2016

Rom 10:9-18, Ps 19, Mt 4:18-22

Reflection by Michael Budniak H’11

As I try to move myself into this newest Christmas season, bombarded by an overload of shopping and sale e-mails, assaulted by the laser-like intensity of some of the Christmas lights my neighbors seem to favor, overwhelmed by many radio stations that started playing Christmas music the day after Halloween (!), I am reminded that all of this STUFF around us is even more superficial than I normally take it for on a daily basis.

I am reminded to slow down, not speed up. I am reminded to relax, not to bunge up. I am reminded to focus myself instead of losing my mind to the chaos that seems more and more to surround this season and day of joy.

This day’s Advent readings are about that slow-down. The call and the Word of God has been out there for all of us since we were born into this life. But the Good News of salvation must be heard first. And isn’t that what a big part of this season is all about? How many people might take this time for granted? But at least there is the hope that the Word and the message will get through all the extraneous noise if we just slow down. Focus.  Not worry so much about the mundane, but look to the Divine, instead.

“Your words, Lord, are spirit and life.” Pretty powerful in their simplicity for a world as complex as ours has become. If we only listen. And follow.

And that’s what Matthew’s Gospel really boils to in the end: a willingness to follow.

I have recognized myself as a basic, simple, flawed, filled-with-sin human being. The forgiveness from all of this that holds me back is found in slowing down. Focusing. And being willing to remember that I can follow the words and spirit and the life and the wonder that has been there my entire life. If only I am willing to pick up and follow.

Christmas is about remembering to follow. And in the process perhaps, get a glimpse of something greater and more wonderful that is to be found in a birth of a Child. And the Rebirth to come for us all…

“So I walk on uplands unbounded

And know that there is hope

For that which Thou didst make out of dust

To have consort with things Eternal.”


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