Flight trackers, GPS apps, and mission control centers have one thing in common, they’re always projecting the estimated time of something’s arrival. Weather, traffic, detours, and other mishaps can impact that E.T.A., which is why it is only an estimated time. Some arrive earlier, and some arrive later. The message of today’s readings is that we can help our E.T.A. to a deeper experience and union with Our Lord through our holiness and devotion. A sinner, separated from God and with no interest in meeting him, may think he has an E.T.A. of “never,” but that’s not true. Sooner or later everyone meets the Lord. It’s up to them whether that’s a cause for Christmas joy or Last Judgment dread. The Messiah is coming in a few weeks, hidden in a cave in Bethlehem. As far as hide and seek goes, finding him can present a challenge if we try to do it on our own. During Advent, the prophets, apostles, and evangelists are telling us where and how to find Our Lord at Christmas. Meditate on the Advent readings as a roadmap to make a straighter way to and for the Lord. Our Lord’s Incarnation and birth are also a way in which God comes out of hiding from a humanity lost in sin so that we can seek him again. Our Lord never avoids us, even in those moments where we’re letting him down. That alone warrants us seeking to encounter and unite ourselves more deeply with him at Christmas and beyond.
-Deacon Mark Ruiz