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Advent and an epiphany (with a lowercase e)

Advent has begun.

During morning prayers, I thought of something that has never dawned on me before.

I was raised in a Christian home, so I suppose I have always known that my heart must be open to receive the Lord. I must say there is room in my life, my heart, my thoughts, my work, my play and my all for you, O Lord.

And then I saw Mary and Joseph in my mind, rushing toward the stable, for there was no room for them in the inn. Hurrying, for labor had begun. It was time for Mary to deliver God’s Son.

And there was room in the stable, not only for Jesus Christ to be born, but for Mary, and Joseph, and shepherds, and a little later, the Magi. There was room for animals and starlight and rejoicing. For heavy labor. For quiet rest.

And it must be this way in our lives, our hearts, our thoughts.

We must make room for Jesus – and also for Mary, and Joseph, and the Saints, and the shepherds who are the poor among us, and the Magi who are the rich. Those who come from places near to us – and places we will never see.

We must have room for the animals – room in our hearts like St. Francis had.

We must stand in the starlight of that celestial proclamation.

We must let all of this come into our lives, in times of rejoicing, or labor, or quiet rest.

Let us begin Advent, with open hearts and minds and lives.

Come, let us prepare and be ready to receive. Let our lives become humble stables welcoming all in the name of Christ.

It has begun.

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