Advent is a liturgical season of great significance to Christians. We have the opportunity to reflect on, and prepare for, Jesus entering the world as a child in need of love and care.
While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:6-7).
As we contemplate Jesus as a child, vulnerable and fragile, we are able to see his greatness. The example of his life reminds us of the fact that we do not need great wealth, power, or prestige in order to be accepted and loved. We spend our lives chasing positions, seeking recognition and admiration without realizing that one glance at the child Jesus is enough to see our own fragile needs as humans. When we welcome God, we let his purity and love manifest itself in us and in our world. His love saves and transforms us, so that we are able to discover that our ability for greatness lies in our vulnerability and the places we seem poor.
Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness (Phil. 2:6-7).
Advent invites us to look inward at who we really are in the eyes of God; to notice who we really are in our hearts. It is by staring into the tender eyes of the baby Jesus that we allow him to enter our hearts.
Jesus invites us during Advent to embrace him in his own vulnerability, because he fills the vulnerable places in us — our sadness and loneliness. He is with us in our suffering and fear, bringing his light and his peace. He nourishes us with his unfailing love.
Liliana Montoya and her family live in Dayton, Ohio, where she serves as the Hispanic Initiative Coordinator at the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives at the University of Dayton.
Examen Live! returns on Friday, July 17, 2020, 12:30 PM Eastern, featuring the prayer lead by the Office of Ignatian Spirituality's own Ignatian Spiritual Direction Initiative. At the end of the week, let's take a deep breath, remember that we are in the presence of God, and spend a few minutes in prayerful reflection. Sign up to receive updates and reminders.
July 3, 2020 – This month Pope Francis is asking us to join him in praying for Our Families. The often-frenetic rhythm of life that we follow is detrimental to our family life. This is an important problem, because no one—neither we as individuals nor society as a whole—can do without families. This is truer now than ever during the time of crisis that we are living. As Pope Francis says, “families are not a problem, they are first and foremost an opportunity.”
July 1, 2020 – Fifteen representatives from Jesuit parishes and organizations in New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina, participated in a Day of Virtual Action in Spanish with a member of Senator Bob Menéndez's (D-NJ) staff on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.
On the eve of the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, we gather (online) to pray as one Ignatian community for healing, justice, and peace. Join us on Thursday, July 30, from 7:00-7:30 PM ET for this bilingual prayer service.
June 29, 2020 - Join Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, on Sun., Aug. 2 at 4 p.m., for a live, interactive discussion as he shares the Ignatian way of making decisions and the surprising closeness to God it brings, which is needed now more than ever. This event is hosted by the Jesuit retreat houses on the East Coast, and proceeds from the event will go to support their ministries.
June 18, 2020 – Today, we thank God for the Supreme Court's decision which blocks the current administration from ending DACA. In the last few months, we have been witnesses to many families’ enduring uncertainty as they awaited a decision on DACA. We abide in deep gratitude today.