Today, this is your task.
You are to write your own prayer to Jesus Christ.
You are to compose your own song to the Son of God.
We sing the songs and say the prayers that others have written.
Today’s task is to express your heart, describe your faith, explain your love, in your own words.
Yes, there are many songs and many prayers out there. And we have taken them to heart.
We’ve been singing them and saying them for years. There is a place for these.
But there is also a need and a place for that which comes from our own hearts,
our own experience, our own desires.
We’ve been taking the prayers and songs of others, sometimes for granted,
and using them without thought.
Part of today’s exercise is to give back, to give more than we take.
As Advent leads us to Christmas, as waiting gives way to arrival,
knowing who it is that will be born, questions arise.
What shall we call him? How will we describe him? What shall be his name?
And I don’t just mean “Jesus”.
I mean a title for God like we hear in our first reading: “The LORD our Justice!”
One way to approach this task is to do what the people in the Old Testament did.
They referred to God according to his wonderful deeds, the ways he acted on their behalf.
We can refer to Jesus Christ according to how he has acted and is acting in our lives.
We can choose language of great distinction as a way of addressing Jesus Christ
according to what he has shown us, according to what he has given us,
according to where he is leading us,
according to his divine and eternal nature, but also according to his finite humanity.
Words like honorable, esteemed, renowned, magnificent, extraordinary.
How would you describe the praise to be offered to His divine majesty?
How would you describe the gratitude to be extended to him for his self-abandoning sacrifice?
What does his birth mean to you? How has it changed, how is it changing, your life?
How has his story become your story? What has he revealed to you?
What more do you want him to do for you?
How would you describe what daily life is like as you cooperate with grace,
as you participate in divine mystery? Now that he has come into the world, into your life…
what do you hope for in the days ahead? What do they look like? What will they bring?
What do you expect will happen
in light of what Jesus Christ accomplished through his life, death and resurrection?
How do you put into words your relationship with him?
To what extent are you dependent on him? To what degree are you committed to him?
What demands does his will make upon you? What claim does he have on you?
In the Old Testament, the sign of being Hebrew was circumcision.
What sign do you carry that signifies to the world that you are Christian?
How have you responded to that call, that summons to be holy?
What still needs work as far as repentance and conversion?
How do you recognize and accept that Jesus Christ has power over you?
Many of you have children and grandchildren.
Imagine how you would feel if all they brought home from school to share with you
were pictures drawn by others.
Put a little joy in Jesus’ heart. Write your prayer. Compose your song. Give yourself to the Lord by the words that come from deep within your soul.
Today’s prayer is your prayer. Make it glorious. “Amen!”
3rd Week of Advent
Today, this is your task.