“We Become What We Love”

Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Advent by FAN Executive Director, Patrick Carolan

This reflection was originally posted in our December 5th newsletter


contemplationAs we continue our journey through the Advent season it is good to take a step back and spend time in quiet reflection. Advent did not fully become part of the church until the late 6th or early 7th century. It originally was a season, like Lent, of repentance and penance. It is often described as a time of waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The word Advent itself means coming. It is derived from the Greek word “Parousia” which refers to the coming of a king. I find it fascinating and telling that we created a season to prepare for the arrival of a king given that the four Gospels each present a different Jesus. In Matthew, Jesus is the king; in Mark, He is the servant; in Luke, He is the perfect man; in John, He is God Divine. The king won out, after all who would spend four weeks preparing for the arrival of a servant? Yet in Mark 10 it says: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.”

This week’s readings all have a theme of patience. The first reading from Isaiah prophesies about what will happen in the future. It says: “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.” In our second reading we are told: “Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord.” We live in a world where patience is rare. We want instant gratification. We expect our prayers to be answered yesterday. When that does not happen we get angry, we blame others. If we learn anything from the election it is that we have created a world based on fear and blame. We are so disconnected from each other that we have failed to see the God in all of creation. We have ceased following the teachings and living the example of the servant and turned the servant into a king. We should stop calling ourselves Christians. I wish Jesus would come across the sky in a chariot and wave a magic wand to make everything right. But we all know that is not going to happen because Jesus never left us; we left Jesus.

The only answer I have comes from St. Clare when she wrote: “We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.”

Peace and All Good,
Patrick Carolan
FAN Executive Director

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Published in: on December 6, 2016 at 9:14 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reblogged this on Justice – Peace – Creation and commented:
    “We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.”

  2. I would like to know where Clare said “We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become” I cannot find it in her writings. Is it in the Process of Canonization or in her Hagiography?
    Thank you


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