The Glory of God Shall Be Revealed
Fr. John Schmidt, C.Ss.R.
Recently I rediscovered the beauty of Handel’s Messiah, his famous orchestral creation which takes us through Christ’s birth and glorification. Popular during Christmas, its first part echoes Advent’s joyful expectation of Christ’s birth and the Church’s hope for his second coming. One movement, based on Isaiah 40: 5, is particularly beautiful: “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” The instruments’ sound is captivating, but it’s when sung with full chorus that Isaiah’s prophesy comes alive: the glory is the Incarnation of Jesus. For me, this magnificent composition makes a good Advent meditation.
Advent calls us to step back from the busy world and our many tasks, so we can center our thoughts on the Incarnation of Jesus. What does it mean for you and me to have these precious weeks before Christmas? We know we must prepare and usually we think of all the decorating and parties. Advent means more. It places Christmas in its proper context, calling us to reflect on God’s long history with his people, how much we need him and his desire to live with us. God’s love is dear to St. Alphonsus’ heart and he wrote about the ‘crazy love’ God has for us. This love is shown in great splendor with Jesus’ birth and fully revealed with his glorification on the cross.
Our seminarians spend this time in reflection on Christ’s full mystery. Each day Redemptorists meditate on the Incarnation of God’s love. On the 25th of each month we place a statue of the infant in chapel to remind ourselves that God loves us and became human for the salvation of the world.
Handel wrote his masterpiece with few words; this simple truth caught my ear… The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. Experiencing God’s love for us is the glory revealed to us in these holy days. Our task is to see this glory in the human lives of our brothers and sisters and, together with them, build a world of peace ready to welcome the Lord.
Friends, enjoy the Advent Season; draw close to Jesus who loves you and became flesh for us, so we can know God is with us.
Each day the Redemptorists lift you in prayer for all your goodness to us. Please send a gift today to help our seminarians.
In Christ the Redeemer,
Father John K. Schmidt, C.Ss.R.
Director, Co-Redemptorist Association