08 December 2011

REFLECTION: An Advent Prayer

Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me.

A German city was recently evacuated after unexploded bombs from World War II were found in a nearby river. The dramatic story of the defusing of these weapons inspires reflection on the “unexploded bombs” that lurk beneath the surface of so many of our relationships with family members and friends.

As the holidays approach, what bombs will we encounter as we gather around tables for meals and conversation? Alcohol abuse, infidelity, drug abuse, mental illness, sexual addiction?

What bombs will we bring with us? Anger, resentment, jealousy, bitterness? And perhaps the most important question of all: How can we defuse these bombs?

During the Christmas season, we are bombarded by cards, gifts, music, ads and parties. All promise happiness. But many people enter the season feeling hurts, losses, disappointments and grief. How can this pain be acknowledged?

The early disciples interaction with Jesus was experiential. Jesus invited them to "come and see" and they came and saw. They gained insight found only at the level of profound trust. Jesus invites us to experience transcendence for the mystery of our lives is in our midst. Superseding John the Baptist, Jesus invites us to explore the Christ within us. There we may find the "God of peace" that passes all understanding. This Advent may the lyrics of that anthem become our inner battle cry: "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."