THE first reading of the 4th Sunday of Advent, which this year falls on December 24, tells us of King David feeling a little disturbed because while he was living in a house of cedar, the ark of God dwells in a tent. (cfr. 2 Samuel 7,2)
And so, the prophet Nathan told him: “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.” But the Lord somehow corrected Nathan by somehow telling him to tell David not to worry so much about the house for the ark of God as for being with God always.
“Go, tell my servant David,” God told Nathan, “‘Thus says the Lord: should you build me a house to dwell in?’ It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be a commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth…” (2 Sam 7,5-9)
This Christmas, while we try our best to celebrate the joy of Christ’s birth, let’s make sure that we prepare the best place for him to stay with us always. Let’s make sure Christ is always with us. And the best way we can do that is when we give him nothing less than our heart where he should stay. Thus, we need to conquer our heart for Christ, since our heart tends to be by itself rather than to be with Christ.
We all know that our heart is where our true treasure is. (cfr. Mt 6,21). That’s because the heart is not only a physical or biological organ that in itself is already indispensable in our life.
It is actually the very seat of our thoughts, desires and conscience. It’s that part that contains our whole being, and therefore the most precious part we have. Our whole identity, both in its stable and dynamic states, is found in the heart.
It’s the source of what our mouth would say. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Mt 12,4). It is what gives the motives for our thoughts, desires, words and deeds.
It’s also where we hear the voice of God as well as that of the devil, where we discern the spirit of God and that of the evil one. It’s where we make our decisions, promises and commitments.
It’s where the dynamics of our faith, hope and charity is played out. But it can also be where merely worldly values, passing and relative, can dominate. Thus, it is where our interior struggle is done, where our choice of either God or ourselves is made.
And if we want to be assured of the authenticity or sincerity of one’s thoughts, words and deeds, we normally ask if they really spring from one’s heart.
How important therefore that we learn to engage the heart with the right treasure, the ultimately genuine one, the one that lasts forever, and not the many pseudo-treasures that the world offers.
Thus, we should often echo those words in Scriptures in our ears: “My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes delight in my ways.” (Prov 23,26) Or, Christ’s words: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…” (Lk 10,27) Here God both begs and even commands for our heart.
Let’s resolve more strongly to give our heart to Christ, especially during this Christmas! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!