By Judy Allison, Mission Helpers Sisters in Spirit
Advent Emptiness and Longing…
Last Christmas there was a TV ad that began with the camera focused in on a woman’s face–“I don’t know, I just feel like something is missing, like there is this void–right here,” she says, as she points to her earlobe. It is an ad for diamond earrings!
The ad works because we all know that empty place inside–“If only I had a bigger, better, newer—house, car, income, retirement fund; or a smaller waist, a shorter “to do” list….But the problem is, when we get the “thing”—the house, the job, the look–the satisfaction doesn’t last and before long we are left again with only our emptiness and our longing.
We experience, on a daily basis, that nothing, no thing, can satisfy our longing or fill the void that lives just below the surface of our consciousness. With St. Augustine, we experience that “Our hearts are restless until they rest in [God].”
Advent calls us to live within the tension of that creative emptiness.
And yet, our culture would keep us pathologically busy–the Christmas music that begins in the malls before Thanksgiving, the shopping, the wrapping, the decorating, the round of parties–all in the name of preparing for Christmas. There must be a better way.
As we read the dream that Isaiah shares in our first reading for the Second Sunday of Advent, we are invited to dream with the scriptures a vision of the peaceful Kingdom of God. What is God calling each of us to do or to change this Advent season?
Our hearts cry “Maranatha” in expectation of the coming of the One who has already come! Let us prepare well.