Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We Walk By Faith, Not By Sight

2 Corinthians 5:7. Very challenging text. As if walking with our eyes closed, believing what we are being told and accepting it at face value. Walking by faith, not by sight. As if landing in a thick fog, guided only by ILS, knowing that the instrument landing system will guide me correctly at a right glide slope path to the center of the runway. As if walking along the edge of a cliff, guided by a voice of someone else, trusting that person completely. As if looking at the valley covered in thick mist, seeing nothing and being told that there is a beautiful valley with picturesque village on the curvy river meandering through the valley towards the horizon...

This is a Eucharist-flavored text. We walk by faith towards the monstrance, seeing bread only and believing it is Him... We walk to the altar and receive the host, seeing the bread and believing it is Him. We walk by faith, not by sight...

This text came to my mind just now as I watch rain falling down and the miserable clouds covering the sky... Is it going to be another murky, rainy, muddy Christmas, humid and steamy? Nothing reminds me here of Christmas at home... Not even a Christmas tree to dress and adorn... Just a plastic one from China.

We don't observe Polish 'Wigilia' here, Christmas Eve dinner. As missionaries, we set off to villages with Christmas Eve Masses starting in the early evening and finishing late. No time to sit and enjoy dinner... with whom exactly? No family around... Missions to far away and missionaries too busy dispensing their duties... parochial workers back home with their families... So many years I spent Christmas alone in the mission, with no one around. I abhor to admit that I got used to this kind of lone celebration which means spending myself and all I've got in me for the people and coming back home wet sometimes, with malaria sometimes, tired and dreaming only of going to bed and sleep this tiredness over...and go back to work as soon as possible.

This year it may be a bit different as my sisters stay with me in the rectory... But still, I will walk by faith, not by sight, with all nature working hard to make be disbelieve it is indeed Christmas time. My refuge will be in closing my eyes and seeing Bethlehem and Him. I may not sing carols, eat fancy Christmas food and enjoy the company of relatives and friends. But still, I will walk by faith towards Him. And will find Him, again, not by sight, but by faith - in the silent Host.

And this is what Christmas is all about.

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