It is a solemn time of year, full of Holy Waiting and Hushed Expectancies punctuated with flurries of activity in preparation for the Great Birthday Feast of Our Lord. The garden sleeps and the heart awakes to the quiet of Scripture reading and prayer. The warming of the heart resonates with the fire in the wood stove and our prayer rises like the sweet aromas of the bread and cakes baking in the oven, creating an incense of the home.
Today's Gospel reading at Mass asks a question and provides an answer.
Mark 10: 17 - 21
17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
19 You know the commandments: `Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'"
20 And he said to him, "Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth."
21 And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
St. John Vianney states it pointedly:
"Can the life of a good Christian be anything other than that of a man nailed to the Cross with Jesus Christ?"
That's me away then.