If love is a mission, then having eyes to see is its goal.

When people are invited to our busy home, they often ask how they can help. My response is, “Have eyes to see a need and go ahead and fill it,” whether that be the vegetables on the cutting board that need to be chopped or a child who is sad and needs a hug.

As a parent, I seek to raise children who have eyes to see a need and hearts ready to serve. We are reminded that Advent is a season of preparation, a season of waiting and watching for God to show Himself. And so, we keep an expectant faith.

I love this season of soft Christmas lights twinkling, carols playing, cookies baking and decorations being put upon a tree. But amid all that nostalgia is the reality that, for many of us, there is a part of our life where all is not quiet and all is not calm.

When I sit by my Christmas tree early in the morning giving my day to Jesus, I have learned to give Him these worries. I point out the pain of the unexpected, the lonely, the broken and ask Him: When will it all ease up? How hard it is to rejoice when there is pain, worry and suffering to work through!

A wise and dear priest friend shared in his homily that maybe this is where our Advent really begins. Perhaps this is the work we need to do this season – the expectant waiting, the trust. Like the Wise Men who followed the star to greet the newborn King in Bethlehem, we could look to the star to reveal how He is working in our lives.

For some that might mean a call from a loved one this season where a relationship was broken and a branch is being extended. There might be a moment of peace as everyone reconvenes under the same roof and you share a glance across the room to marvel that, for one moment, it is good. Because in that moment, God is revealing Himself, and, if we blink, we might miss it.

The media representation of Christmas is one of hype over hope, stuff over substance, and we quickly lose focus. This Advent, I am leaning into being watchful. The promise of hope is coming. There will be a glimpse of peace this season, and if we are not watchful, we will miss it, and oh, how a part of me is parched for that glimpse.

It could be as noticeable as the day the sun danced at Fatima or as subtle as the small voice that whispered to Elijah. Nevertheless, it will be certain. Having eyes ready to see Him working means forming a heart fully aware that He has been, is and will continue to be working, even if we do not see it clearly.

As Catholic Christians, let us press into this season of Advent like the shepherds who watched their sheep by night and followed the star. Let us watch for Jesus to reveal Himself working in our lives, in our situations, because we know He will. Let us have expectant hearts full of rejoicing because, even though all might not be calm and quiet, He is still coming.

Let us celebrate joyfully a season set apart for watching. Let us have eyes to see how God is working in our lives and hearts open to follow (like the shepherds), to go where we see a need. For we do not know where or how He will show Himself to us. We know for certain only that He will.

This article first appeared at CatholicTimesColumbus.org.

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