Today’s Advent Reading:
USCCB – December 15th

Today’s readings again focus heavily on John the Baptist. As I reflect on the meaning of Jesus’s words about John, I am constantly drawn to the idea of preparation. During this finals season, we have all learned to truly internalize the idea of being ready. Even in this sense of academic preparation, however, I still feel like it may be a challenge to understand the importance of mental and spiritual readiness.  I find that for me, before a big test or presentation, it’s best if I am just listening to music and praying, rather than trying to cram last minute information in my head. This type of preparation first stems from an inner assessment of thoughts and sentiments, allowing yourself to realize your current mental state. Once this inner realization is achieved, you are ready to engage with outside people and sources to aid in understanding, the more traditional idea of preparation. After this phase, however, it’s important to return to yourself again, allowing for internalization of the external knowledge.

As we prepare more and more, we often come to see how much is truly unknown. We will never be able to fully master a subject in school or fully hone in a skill for a job or a sport. Most importantly, however, we will never be able to fully comprehend the magnitude of God’s love for us. Because we have been preparing ourselves though, we often expect that comprehension to come with a linearized understanding of that which we prepare for. Today’s readings remind me that coming to a deeper realization of the mystery of God should not make me feel less secure. Even if we cannot begin to grasp the infinite nature of God’s love, we know it is constant and unconditional. As we hear in the first reading, “My love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken.” In today’s readings I find Jesus challenging me to love others in this way. I marvel in the glory of His grace and acceptance – may all of our hearts be prepared for his joyous coming this Christmas season.

Anne Marie Crinnion ’20 is a freshman living in Thayer Hall.