Encountering Christ In Advent
Tissot's Adoration of the Shepherds
I was reading the Holy Father's address to the people who attended his Wednesday Audience. In it he spoke of Advent being a time for Christians to encounter Christ. Specifically he says: "People who have encountered Christ in their lives, experience a calmness of heart and a joy which no worldly situation can take from them. ..."
This quote from the Pope got me to thinking about all those who, at the time of Christ's birth, had an encounter with Him. Mary certainly had the closest and most intimate encounter with her Divine Son, but Joseph, the shepherds and the Magi also encountered Christ, and when they did they were struck with awe. I also think they must have experienced that calm and joy that Pope Benedict spoke about. Mary may not have understood how her Son would be conceived, but she accepted it with quiet, trusting, joy~filled calm. Joseph too listened and trusted to what the angel told him in his dream. The shepherds left their flocks, and the Magi left their homeland to follow a star.
While it is very easy for us to become distracted by all the glittering lights of the commercialized Christmas, those lights will fade, but the light from the Star of Bethlehem will never fade. We are not distracted by this light, but attracted by it. If we follow it, like the shepherds and the Magi, we will be led to an encounter with Christ. And with this encounter we too can be people of joy and calmness of heart.You can read Pope Benedict XVI's Wednesday Address here.