Imagine coming home one day to find that Isis has taken over your house. How would that make you feel? … Invaded?… Overpowered?… Taken advantage of? …Disrespected? … to put it mildly.
And, this is but a small taste of what Jesus can experience with us. “He came to his home, and his own people received him not” (Jn 1:11). Because, “all things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that has been made” (Jn1:2). And, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (1Cor 6:19).
Often we hear people say, “but it is MY body and I can do what I want.” And, in one sense it is true, God has given us free will to choose whether to live for Him and the plan for which He has created us; or, to live as we see fit with our own agenda. But if we choose the latter, we suffer the repercussions; because in the end love, truth and justice always must prevail. “If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do its builders labor” (Ps 127:1).
God has created each of us as a magnificent “temple” wherein He wants to dwell. But are we allowing Him too?
Or, are we allowing our fallen, human selves to be the central occupants?
Mary and Joseph knocked in an attempt to find room in the Inn, but to no avail. There was no room because all the Inns they tried were occupied, with no room for God to enter in.
How are the homes of our hearts this Christmas? Are they filled up and occupied with many things? Shopping, gifts, parties, people, etc.? Are we inviting the Divine Christ-child to be the Lord and God of our hearts? Or, are we letting the “Isis” within us invade and desecrate God’s creation/temple.
God was drawn to be born in the poverty of the stable which had nothing of itself to boast. It was open, simple, receptive. True poverty of heart is clinging to nothing else but God Himself, and His Divine Will. For when we leave this earth we will bring nothing else with us. Are we that free in our hearts to receive our Redeemer now, or do many things of this world occupy us?
“Blessed are the poor in spirit for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs…Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God” (Mat 5:3,10).
To have true poverty of heart is to know that we are broken and sinful and are in need of God and His redeeming love. And, to the degree that we thirst for Him alone is to the degree that we are preparing a place and receiving Him into the home of our hearts; which have been created to be His home from the beginning, He’s just given us the freedom to choose whether to let Him in or not.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, did this perfectly. The Catholic Church speaks of her as all “Immaculate and pure,” as the “Spotless Bride.” She is the one creature who constantly lived from her “poverty of heart” and thus was constantly receptive bride. Her whole being was in a continual disposition of thirst for God and His Will to be done.
The holy and humble St. Francis of Assisi chose to be wedded to “Lady Poverty” throughout the whole of his life, because he knew she was KEY to ever-deeper communion of life with God.
May we as well, this Christmas Season (which goes through till January 10th), have the grace to be ever-more deeply in touch with our own poverty of heart, and invite God in; for it is there that He is drawn to dwell.
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us… And …as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (Jn 1:14,12).