Welcome Jesus!!

I just joined Pope Benedict XVI and very cold pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus.

It is cold here.

But are our hearts?

This Advent, “give space and welcome Jesus, the Word that saves us, to our hearts,” the Holy Father implored.

I’ve never been here at this time of year. There’s significance in the physical reality here right now: A tree is up by a nativity being built, outside, in the square. Inside, poor Pope Pius X’s tomb has become a construction site, as another manger scene is being prepared. I could only see a shepherd peeking out at me.

I could afford to be like him and listen to the angels.

I didn’t whip out my camera in time, but there was an angel cloud formation that greeted my entry into Rome, from the airport.

I heard coming from the clouds, St. Luke telling us for the shepherds making haste to Bethlehem. In his book Jesus of Nazareth, the Infancy Narratives, Pope Benedict writes:”How many Christians make haste today, where the things of God are concerned? Surely if anything merits haste–so the evangelist is discreetly telling us–then it is the things of God.”

As I head to a conference on Ecclesia in America and the New Evangelization this Advent, making haste seems to be the impossible-to-miss message.

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