I’m not much of a runner, but a few years ago, I ran three days a week with a friend who was preparing to run a twenty-six-mile marathon. He had run marathons a number of times before, and I realized he must have run hundreds of miles over the course of a few years. This made me wonder how far Jesus traveled in his lifetime. It’s hard to know exactly, but most of that travel happened within only a fifty-mile radius of his hometown of Nazareth!
Here’s what struck me: during Advent, I normally think of the magnitude of Jesus’ coming in the flesh and how this act changed the whole world. I think of how every angel and saint in heaven rejoiced! But for all that he accomplished, Jesus lived in a hidden corner of the earth. Most of his life was quiet, routine, and “normal.” He swung a hammer with his dad, St. Joseph, and he went to synagogue like his neighbors. Hardly anyone understood that God was living among them. Yet in the ordinary and the hidden, Jesus lived a life extraordinarily pleasing to his heavenly Father.
This gives me hope! Most days, my life is ordinary; sometimes it’s even boring. Yet Jesus’ early life tells me that God can do the incredible through the ordinary. You and I, and everyone who seeks to live for the Lord, can live hidden, yet extraordinary, lives of faith every day!
Let’s Take a Hidden Journey this Advent. So this Advent, I invite you to do something hidden but extraordinary. Every Sunday from now until Christmas, spend your prayer time—your hidden time with the Lord—preparing the way for the Lord, just as John the Baptist urged us. Read the Gospel for that Sunday, along with the related article in the front of this magazine. Then speak honestly to the Lord about whatever is on your heart. See the box on the opposite page for the plan.
Brothers and sisters, God hears us when we pray. He also speaks to us when we pray. May your hidden and seemingly ordinary journey of faith this Advent make the angels rejoice!
Jeff Smith, President
Spiritual Reading for Sundays in Advent
• On November 28th (read): Lift Up Your Heads! Advent is a time of hope in the midst of the very real trials in our lives.
• On December 5th (read): “Prepare the Way of the Lord” by finding God’s hidden presence in daily prayer.
• On December 12th (read): Repent and Believe! The call to repentance and Confession can bring great freedom into our lives.
• And on December 19th (read): Blessed Are You Who Believe. Journey with the most hidden and obedient saint of all, Mary!