It's been interesting this Advent that I have been able to remain almost completely oblivious to the hustle and bustle of carols and decorations, intense focus on gifts, and the like. I am aware of it, but only as a gnat in the ear: it's there, you know it, but it doesn't really affect you much (or at least in my case it doesn't).
Blessedly, this has been a year in which I can immerse myself in the pregnant possibilities anticipating the coming of Jesus Christ. It is at once realizing that Incarnation is already reality, God pouring out in deep humility, yet, looking for the coming of Christ within each one of us who profess to follow him. We are called to imitate "not in a literal mimicking of Christ, rather, it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation...we are to become vessels of God's compassionate love for others" (Franciscan Prayer, Ilia Delio, osf 68).
By emptying ourselves, we make room for a relationship with Christ, hence, the Triune God, that allows us to realize God in everything, everything in God, and to allow compassion to grow within us. Advent is a time to ponder that, and to dwell in the hope of shalom, wholeness, within God's embrace. This includes all Creation, which is not God, but made by God. God becomes fully human out of a deep love for what God has made.
Like awaiting our lover, we groan and yearn in anticipation. If we focus on bargains and baubles, artificial lights that fill the skies, we miss the One True Light, who can be seen shining in deep darkness. He comes for us.
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, Come!