Advent Reflection: Making Room for the Reckless Love of God
Happy St. Nicholas Day!
In today’s Gospel, we hear the Parable of the Lost Sheep. Jesus presents a sheep which leaves a flock of one hundred. Many would assume that the shepherd would not leave the ninety-nine in pursuit of the one that has gone astray, but Jesus suggests just the opposite. Furthermore, the Gospel says that the shepherd greatly rejoiced upon the finding of the one that was lost. How often are we the sheep that goes astray from Christ, the Good Shepherd? Do we recognize the deep desire Christ has to reunite with us?
When reflecting on this parable, I cannot but think of many times I’ve belted out the chorus of “Reckless Love” while in adoration at youth conferences and retreats. The reality is that you and I become lost and fall into sin and are in need of God’s mercy; however, we are not defined by our sins but rather by the “overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God”.
Regardless of this reality, it is easy for us to feel lost and allow our past mistakes, guilt, and sin to amount into a mess of chaos. All we have to do is allow Jesus into the chaos. St. Maria Goretti is known for saying “he hopes, he loves, he waits, our Lord prefers to wait years for the sinner rather than keep us waiting an instant”.
Christ beautifully instituted the sacrament of reconciliation, so we don’t have to wait. It is a tangible method for us to experience his love and mercy. We can sometimes become ashamed of our sin and discouraged as we might find ourselves struggling with the same sins. However, the confessional is not a place of judgement or defeat, but rather it is a place of love, mercy, victory, and peace. But how does this tie into Advent? Well, it has everything to do with Advent.
The purpose of Advent is to prepare a place in our hearts for Christ. Jesus stands and knocks at the door of our hearts just waiting for us to invite Him in, but our sins make it difficult to do so. This Advent, let us take a step of vulnerability and be authentic with ourselves and God within the sacrament of reconciliation. It is in doing so that we can allow the peace and mercy of Christ to triumph over our sin thus making room in our hearts for the reckless love of God.
Xander Johnson, Class of 2023
Each day during the season of Advent, you will find an advent reflection from faculty and students at Christian Brothers College High School. To find all the reflections, go to our Advent Reflections page.