I stopped by our church the other day for Eucharistic Exposition. Our church sits very close to the gym for our Parish School. This same night a Nativity Program was being presented by the school children. As I sat in Exposition, about a half dozen people with children raucously entered the church and began roaming around taking seats up front by the altar, where are Dear Lord and Savior was exposed in the Monstrance. They were talking with each other in load voices, neglecting any reverence for the Holy Sacrament, and even yelling across the Church at one point. They would walk right in front of the Monstrance without a bow or a genuflection.
As I sat and watched in silence and horror, it dawned on me that these people, although there to attend a Catholic School religious function, had no idea that they were in the physical presence of God himself. They had gotten so caught up in the present moment of the school function, and their goals to attain the best seats, and prepare for the program that was to be performed by the children, demonstrating the love Jesus pours out on us at his birth, that they totally missed the fact that they had stepped into the very real presence of God himself at the very moment. And they ignored Him. They missed the amazement of that Truth.
As they realized they were in the wrong location, and scurried away, I reflected on just how common an occurrence that is for all of us. How many times each day do we walk into the very presence of God, and miss it. It might not be as obvious as his presence in a monstrance on the altar, but he is amongst us everywhere. Is he not present in the faces that we greet each morning at the breakfast table, or our workplaces, or at the grocery store and on the highway? Is he not present in the faces of the homeless we see on the streets, or the elderly, or the refugees of other faiths as well as our own, fleeing persecution? And don’t we do the same thing, or worse? We ignore, or receive them with malice, and hatred. We miss the reverence they are due as children of God. And we miss the amazement of His Truth, and the opportunities that Truth bestows on us.
So, as we celebrate this Advent Season and prepare our hearts for Jesus, let’s make sure that we are opening our eyes to God wherever he is, and whoever he presents himself to be. Let’s have a deep reverence for our Lord present in everything living and non-living, he has created it all. He is definitely present in all creation. All of creation reflects his Holy Presence, so let’s open our eyes and recognize that, and honor it, and take that light from the Star of Bethlehem and expose his presence for everyone to see more clearly. Let’s not miss the opportunities to shine his love to all! Gaudette!