Father Robert Barcelos, OCD: Advent and our First Love Exodus

Sunset at Mt. St. Josephs Monastery. San Jose, CA. Photo credit: thespeakroom.org

As I was driving, I was so struck and breath-taken by the vastness of the sky, which was just so magnificently broad and wide and it looked majestic. It reminded me of— how God wants us to expand our hearts, how infinite God is, and how our faith, in terms of our confidence in God, is meant to be limitless. We have to widen our hearts, not limit our faith to what we see in ourselves, but to what we see in Him, and therefore, allow our lives to be expanded.

We have to rekindle of our first love, our spiritual exodus. This spiritual journey is an eternal newness” — an expression Pope Francis uses in [the Apostolic Exhortation] The Joy of The Gospel. “An eternal newness,” an expression of Love’s inexhaustible fountain.

Pope Francis, says, “a disciple of Jesus has a heart opened to his unlimited horizons.” To his unlimited horizons. In other words, what is possible for us is more than what we see in ourselves. What is possible for us is more than our own potential!  It’s God’s potential in us. And potential, potencia, comes from the Latin word for the word potential, which means “power.” This power in us is more than our own strength- it’s the strength of God. It’s the Spirit of God. It’s His potentialAnd so we have to allow our hearts to expand to unlimited horizons based on what we see in His Heart. That is a key becoming more captivated and charmed by Christ – attracted to Christ.

Pope Francis calls the church to evangelize by pointing to a horizon of beauty. And the beauty is Christ!

Fyodor Dostoevsky, a Russian Orthodox Christian in the 19th-century, said that the ultimate, and only beauty in the world (“only” speaking of the essential and ultimate beauty) is Christ.

He is the Infinite Marvel. He alone is He who is most beautiful. He is this horizon of beauty.  And this is how we understand the Gospel, because the Gospel is Christ. He is the Message and the Messenger. Christ is the Gospel. Pope Francis refers to Him in The Joy of the Gospel as “the source of authentic personal fulfillment.”

Jesus is Love’s inexhaustible fountain. He is the source of authentic personal fulfillment. He is Who we are made for. Jesus is who and what we long and wait for.


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