December 2012

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Glory to Jesus Christ!

Here in this Advent Season we turn our thoughts to Bethlehem, "the house of bread," the place where our Lord Jesus who is the Bread of Life was born. Nine months prior to Christmas was the Feast that began it all when we commemorate the coming of the angel Gabriel to the house of the Virgin Mary to announce that she had been chosen to be the Mother of God. She did not have to say yes.

The mystery of human freedom remained intact for her. That she said yes was a rather awesome thing for a little girl of fourteen to do. The faith and humility that moved her seems incalculable, but she was like us and we are like her, only Mary had grown to love God so much that his request she took as her command although God did not compel her. With this yes the world was saved.

We are invited to bear Christ ourselves. It would be as great a mystery and a miracle for

Christ to be born in us as it was to be born in her. Meister Eckhart, the great Western mystic wrote: "It is of more worth to God that Christ be born in the virgin soul than that Jesus should have been born in Bethlehem."

Every human life is a mystery; everyone filled with potential to bring forth upon the world salvation, healing, and transformation, but we must dig deep into the ground ofour being to realize it. Advent fasting is nothing less than saying yes to God as Mary did, sweeping our hearts and minds clean so that Christ will have a place to lay his head wheT) he at last is born in us. Perhaps the idea of being born again is really a matter of Christ being born again in us. May your Advent be bright and blessed.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Antony Hughes