It is the beginning of Advent. A time when we decorate our homes, shop for the perfect presents, and celebrate the season just as the world says we should. It is too easy to be distracted and lose sight of the true reason behind the season.
By definition, “smitten with goodness” means being deeply affected by and directed toward being good, holy, and pure. It is being smitten with godliness. On this first Sunday of Advent, the period of preparation before Christmas and the coming of Christ, we are called to anticipation and the reminder that hope, love, joy, and peace are at our fingertips. Is Your Heart Full of Hope? How prepared are you?
As we get ready for the birth of goodness itself in Jesus Christ, let’s take the necessary steps to prepare our hearts and minds. What if when we bring out the creche or nativity scene and place it where it can be seen and, if the moment is right, contemplated. What if, in the Spirit of the season, the creche characters began to talk? What if they asked us questions to bring home our faith, to encourage us into gratitude and commitment? How would we answer?
The Wise Men
We are the Wise Men.
We are not smart in the usual ways.
We cannot make a chair.
Our soups are regrettable.
We forget important facts.
How long, again, can camels go without water?
What galvanizes us are big pictures –
how all things are held together even though they look apart,
how an unseen logic directs apparently random events.
For us, nothing is as it seems.
Appearance is not truth.
Conjunctions, symmetries, balances between heaven and earth
capture our detective attention.
A star moves across the sky, and we are in the saddle,
convinced the birth of the predicted has occurred.
Our gifts are star-inspired,
We bring gold because he will bring people into their true worth.
We bring incense because he will reconcile people to God.
We bring myrrh because his death will be a path to new life.
These deeper meanings were what we wanted to find.
They are also why we are in your creche.
We hope our journey activates
the search lurking beneath your surface,
beneath your practical plans
and minor achievements
that promised you more
than they were able to deliver.
What deeper meanings move you?
The perspective of The Wise Men was originally published on December 1, 2019, written by author and theologian John “Jack” Shea for Catholic Extension. Smitten With Goodness exists to shine a light on goodness. The presence of the Catholic Church is a guiding light in many places darkened by poverty and conflict. Catholic Extension uplifts faith communities and supports individuals who bring the light of Christ to the most forgotten areas of our country, and you can support their mission here.