Scripture

Psalm 63:1-7

You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
    and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
    with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
    I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
    I sing in the shadow of your wings.

Reflection

In Psalm 63 we have a song of desire: “O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you.” The Jesuit priest, James Martin, has described Advent as the season of desire because it is a time when we are “encouraged to wait, to anticipate, to expect, to long, to hope—in short, to desire.”

 

Today, the word “desire” can make some uncomfortable. It may sound too carnal, selfish or even wrong. And in fact, we often replace our desire for God with desire for things and people. At Christmas time, in particular, we often desire more than we should. But the desire that marks Advent is created and formed in us by God. It is a longing for peace, love and belonging. We have within us a deep yearning for God’s presence in our lives. The words of Augustine ring true: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O Lord.” In these days of desire may you come to understand more deeply your longing for God, and may your heart find rest in Christ. 

Prayer

Dear God, in this Advent/Christmas season, I thank you for the gift of Jesus. I will never understand this great love you have for me, but today, I will try to honor the gift. Guide me as I seek to be a gift to others. Show me where there is need and guide me to bless others as you have blessed me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.