Midwestern Mom's Musings

My view of the world through words & photos

My Advent Journey This Year is a Journey Back in Time

Nearly 22 years ago, I asked my then boyfriend to attend Mass with me during the four Sundays of Advent.  Our relationship had become more serious during the last few months.  In fact, he was planning on spending the Christmas holiday with me at my family’s Advent Candles home.  Because of that, I wanted him to know what Christmas meant to me.  Since he was not active in his faith (by which I mean he didn’t attend worship services every week or even on holy days) I wanted to make sure he understood that to me, Christmas was more than a day for exchanging presents.  I told him that the four Sundays of Advent would help him understand the historical and religious basis for Christmas from my perspective.

So each Sunday, for the first three Sundays, we met at my church and attended Mass together.  He followed the readings in the missal so he would have a clear understanding of what was being said before the priest shared his homily with us.  On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we attended Mass with my family.  For years I had attended Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and this year was no different.  Before we went home, we attended the Mass of the Holy Family.

Once we were back home, I had no expectations of him regarding his attendance at Mass.  And yet, when I arrived at Mass the next Sunday, he was there.  He was there the following Sunday, also.  During that Mass, I sensed that something different was happening.  Since I didn’t want to assume anything, after brunch I asked him if he had been OK during Mass that morning.

He than shared with me his belief that Jesus was the fulfillment of the promise, the promise of a savior that God had promised to send to us.He is Born!

I was stunned.  While I had never asked for him to convert to my faith, this apparently was what had happened during the last several months.  During the next two decades his faith life continued to grow, as did mine, as he continued his journey into a deeper understanding of Faith, God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

While this is the second year I am making the Advent journey since his death, it seems to be the first year that I am more aware of what life is without him.  (Apparently, I was in some sort of fog or shock last year since most of the major holidays arrived shortly after his death.)

During Mass this morning, two sections struck me as I listened to today’s readings.  The first was from Isaiah (11:1-10):

On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
a spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
but he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.
On that day, the root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
the Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

The second was from Matthew (3:1-3):

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.

I reflected back to that time so many years ago when I heard these traditional readings with new ears as I sat next to the man I loved, who was hearing them in this context for the first time.

So, it seems my spiritual journey forward this Advent will also be a journey back.  I’m going to challenge myself to really listen to these readings with new ears again – to listen as if it is for the first time.  I pray that I feel that joy and wonder that my husband felt when he listened to these words – these words that helped open his heart to Jesus – the fulfillment of God’s promise to all of us.



2 comments on “My Advent Journey This Year is a Journey Back in Time

  1. Meredith W.
    February 13, 2014

    Saw your post on Glennon’s blog today and for some reason, I checked to see if your name was a link. Only glanced around, but this blog post caught my eye. You aren’t by any chance in Indiana, are you?

    • midwesternmomsmusings
      February 14, 2014

      Not in Indiana – live in Missouri. I hope you enjoy the rest of your visit to my site.

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This entry was posted on December 9, 2013 by in Reflections, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .
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