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One of my favorite paintings (above) is Rembrandt’s “The Supper at Emmaus.” This  painting depicts the very moment that Jesus reveals Himself to the two disciples in the  breaking of the bread. What I like so much about this painting is Rembrandt’s use of light and darkness. Jesus is powerfully silhouetted, almost as if light is coming forth from Him. There are two disciples, one at the feet of Jesus, and the other one at the  table sitting across from Jesus. The one at the table truly reveals in his eyes that he is seeing divinity. It is at this moment that Jesus reveals Himself. In the same moment, the disciples are unveiled. This beautifully depicts how Christ moves us. 

Jesus is powerfully silhouetted, almost as if light is coming forth from Him.

Our eyes are awakened in the One who fulfills. This is the One whom we wait  for now. Are you ready to meet Him? Are you ready to behold Him? St. Teresa of Calcutta wrote to her sisters in a letter, “Have you seen with the eyes of your soul how He looks at you with love?” Brothers and sisters, He has been looking at you with great love this entire year, despite its difficulty. You may have given a lot this year, or maybe you’ve given up many things. Or maybe it’s both. But as we inch closer and closer to meeting Him, I ask you, how have you been fulfilled? How have you been restored this year? For some, this may be healing that Christ has brought into your life. Maybe it’s a sin that He has helped you finally overcome. Maybe you’ve learned to relax. It could also be just looking back on this year and seeing how you’ve grown.  

For what must have felt like millions of years, people waited for the coming of  the Messiah. They awaited the One who would pick up the ‘scattered.’ He would be the One to fulfill the promises. So brothers and sisters, where has He picked you up in  your scattering? 

Whatever it may be, may reflecting on it bring you gratitude. It is gratitude that brings forth joy; the very thing that we are celebrating this week. It is Gaudete Sunday that begins this week of rejoicing. We pass the halfway point and our hearts build with anticipation. It may have been a hectic last two weeks considering school, family, or a busy work life, but allow yourself the gift of this time to be one of great joy.  Allow yourself to slow down. Come back to that which we await, the presence of  Christ, our wonderful and glorious Savior. Find little ways to rejoice. It could be something simple, like baking sweet bread because Our Savior is born in Bethlehem (meaning “house of bread”).  Allow your eyes to be awakened and take part in this beautiful and joy-filled reality. 

We pass the halfway point and our hearts build with anticipation.

Let us welcome with joy and thanks to the One who fulfills, Emmanuel, God with us. He has been and is ever-present to us. Welcome Him with joy into your heart, for He says to us, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5). Allow Him to surprise you this week and the rest of this Advent season. And as we await Him, bring to Him all that you have had a hard time with this year. The suffering that has required so much of you; bring it to Him. Allow Him to make it new, to make you new, and to fill you. May your heaviness of heart melt away and may your childlike joy be overflowing with great awe, wonder, and love of Our Lord. For just as you are awaiting to meet the Prince of Peace, He is also awaiting to meet you. Allow Him to meet you.

May your heaviness of heart melt away and may your childlike joy be overflowing with great awe, wonder, and love of Our Lord.

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