The opening prayer (Collect) of this Sunday’s Mass sets the scene: “…may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom, gain us admittance to his company”.
It set me to thinking what heavenly wisdom do I need most. …and that is quite a tough question. I suppose patience is an important one for me and also the need not to see myself as the centre of my world, a danger we can all fall into very easily; “my needs”, “my rights” which is another way of saying, “my pride”. Most of us do not like change at all, but it is a part of our lives if we are to grow and mature as St John Henry Newman reminds us.
One of the themes of the pontificate of Pope Emeritus, Benedict, was that of ‘relativism’ – simply put, it is the danger of placing oneself, and only oneself, at the centre of things. Everything is judged as it relates to me and my needs and feelings. That is the opposite of the message that we see lying in the Christmas Crib – a defenceless and dependent baby. We are a part of the world in which we live, we are called upon to relate to and consider all those around us. As we pray so often, “thy will, not mine be done”.
So it can be an openness to others and their needs that will help us on our journey towards heavenly wisdom, so, pray for each other on that journey this week.