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Inspire & Ignite Blog

SLOWING DOWN

Jimmy Tricco
Often unheeded Advent signs engulf me. Slow down. Be patient. Wait. I wonder if God chuckles at the frenzied pace during this time of year? I think back to the embarrassing time Mr. Timme told me that a few of his students in Yearbook class saw me at Mass the previous Sunday. They told him, “Yeah, we saw Mr. Tricco at Mass with his family. He totally ‘Hosted and ghosted.’” When I found out the translation that “Hosted and ghosted” meant leaving right after Communion, my first inclination was to explain that my daughter’s stomach was hurting so we decided to leave before the final blessing. So defensive, right? Upon further reflection I was reminded of two very important lessons: First, our students are always watching, sometimes creepily; and, second, a reminder of the importance to simply sit with Jesus.
Often unheeded Advent signs engulf me. Slow down. Be patient. Wait. I wonder if God chuckles at the frenzied pace during this time of year? I think back to the embarrassing time Mr. Timme told me that a few of his students in Yearbook class saw me at Mass the previous Sunday. They told him, “Yeah, we saw Mr. Tricco at Mass with his family. He totally ‘Hosted and ghosted.’” When I found out the translation that “Hosted and ghosted” meant leaving right after Communion, my first inclination was to explain that my daughter’s stomach was hurting so we decided to leave before the final blessing. So defensive, right? Upon further reflection I was reminded of two very important lessons: First, our students are always watching, sometimes creepily; and, second, a reminder of the importance to simply sit with Jesus.

How many of you are like me, at times, desiring to grab Jesus to go? During the Eucharist or Christmas, are we sometimes in a rush to glimpse Jesus and speed onward, thinking we are taking Jesus with us, in a hurry? This time of year I am constantly reminded of the slow, intentional work of God, meeting Jesus in his birth. We meet God most vulnerable as God meets us most vulnerable. I wonder what Mary’s labor was like? Did Jesus cry a lot? Was he simply happy and content to be snuggled with mom? And Mary and Joseph model for us the grace of presence, making space in their lives, quite literally, for Christ. While it’s important to be like the shepherds or the Magi who visited Jesus and left, this Christmas, let’s be like Mary and Joseph in an ongoing Kairos moment, making God’s time our time. In book of Karl Rahner’s homilies, The Great Church Year, he reflects on the days leading up to Christmas:

“Prepare for this God the true way, the way of faith, of love, of humility, and the way of patience with its unimpressive provisional messengers and their poor words and small signs. For then God will certainly come.”

God, please grant us a Christmas slow and deliberate. That we cradle Jesus during Communion the same way Mary cradled Jesus at his birth: lovingly, intentionally and patiently.

May our first impression of Jesus this Christmas be of gratitude for God’s presence in our unfolding lives! Let us heed the small signs and words. Slow down. Be patient. Wait. “For then God will certainly come.”

Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas!
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