Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Not long ago, in an affluent neighborhood I stopped into a coffee shop full of wealthy people. Looking at the crowded cafe, one phrase came to mind as I looked at the faces before me and imagined each expressing: “I’ve been wronged.” It stunned me, for the cars on the street, the clothing, all spoke of tremendous worldly success: the sort of worldly success that claims everything for itself, and has no apparent need for God. And yet this wound.

The resentment of modern humanity is all-pervasive. There is a sense that God has failed us, has abandoned us, and that being the case, we have to “make it” on our own. So much the worse for God! Respect God? Why? Fear Him: that is primitive.

And yet, we are creatures of a day, frail, passing wraiths who prance god-like upon the stage of life, soon to be gone, replaced by yet other generations resentful of this status of exile in which we find ourselves.

Yet there was one woman who, distinct from all others, truly respected God: truly feared God with a “holy fear.” One who was not corrupted by original sin, not corrupted by that blindness that turns the light of mind and heart toward self. And His mercy on her was so great, she brought His Son into the world, embracing our powerlessness, and the punishment of our self-centered godlessness. She was wrapt in gratitude, magnifying the Lord. She is “our life, our sweetness, our hope.” As are none of our possessions.

December 22nd, 2014