Sunday, December 20, 2015

Can I go to them?

By Kara Davis
Postulant, Daughters of Charity

Pope arrives at mosque in flashpoint neighbourhood of Central African capital
Pope Francis arriving to a mosque in a neighborhood in the Central African Republic 
capital Bangui on November 29, 2015.  Photo taken from
On the First Sunday of Advent, a news article was featured on my Facebook newsfeed with a picture of Pope Francis and the headline, “Can I go to them?  Pope Francis’ stunning response to alleged murders.”  As Pope Francis concluded his visit to Africa, “Popemania” infiltrated social media once again.  Something about this particular article, however, grabbed my attention as I curiously clicked on the link to discover to where and to whom Pope Francis was drawn to go this time.

The article stated that there were reports of violence in a nearby neighborhood where Pope Francis had previously ate with local bishops.  Upon hearing the news, the Holy Father immediately asked the Nuncio, “Can I go?  Can I go [to them]?”  The Nuncio replied, “No Holiness.  It is very dangerous.”

The words, “Can I go to them?” have remained with me throughout these weeks of Advent, and have been the focus of much of my prayer during this season.  I imagine Jesus hearing of the violence and suffering of the world and pleading with The Father, “Can I go?  Can I go to them?”  I hear The Father’s response, “It is very dangerous,” and then Jesus’ answer, “I will go to them.”

I am struck by the Divine desire to be with us, to dwell within our human messiness.  During Sunday Mass when we sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” I think, “Emmanuel, God with us.  Do I really want God to be with me, to dwell in my messiness, my vulnerability?”  Then I hear the response, “Can I go to them?”  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.  Give thanks!  God has chosen you.  God wants to dwell with you!

When we sing, “O Come Divine Messiah,” I think, “What are my expectations for this long awaited Messiah?”  Will hope sing its triumph?  Will sadness flee away?  Will He break the captive fetters?  Will He be made lowly, clothed in human weakness?”  Then I hear the responses, “It is very dangerous,” and “I will go to them.”  O Come Prince of Peace.  Dispel violence and hatred, and reveal the face of mercy to the world.

As we begin the fourth week of Advent, I ponder how I am to receive Christ as He comes to me, and how I am called to share the face of mercy with those around me as we continue this pilgrimage of mercy for the coming year.  Just as Pope Francis responded, “Can I go to them,” may we respond with those same words as we bring mercy and joy to the world.  Peace be with you!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment! Once our admin it approves it, you will see it posted.