Advent Reflections – December 7, 2015

Open to Life: Real Life

So, how does being open to life manifest itself in each of our own daily lives?

To start with, it means being open to the people we immediately come in contact with. When we greet one another with a smile, when we stop what we are doing to look someone in the eye and engage in conversation with them, we are being open to their life. We are affirming their human dignity and worth by encountering them, rather than brushing past them.

It means looking beyond our circle, our comfort zone. Consider visiting  a nursing home, even if you don’t know anyone there. Participate in a food drive and actually go to the food bank, rather than just dropping off a few cans in the bin. Serve a meal at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and don’t just stay behind your ladle – actually engage with the people you are serving.

It means knowing that there are people out in our shared world who do not have the same values as you, do not have the same priorities as you and perhaps do not even see the purpose of your life. Yet, instead of giving into despair, thinking that humanity is lost, or seeking vengeance for suffering others have inflicted upon us,  we choose to hope, and despite it all, to love.

So we can’t allow ourselves to be stopped by the misfortunes of life or the suffering that we’re enduring, as if this had no meaning. Through them, we can discover that God is knocking on our door and wants to call us again to life, and open up to us the ways of life.

        Archbishop Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, France

November 18, 2015

How is God calling me to live a life that is more open and welcoming? 

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