That time I found a perfect spot, between the hydrangea bush and the wood pile that closed off the courtyard. I was almost at the edge of the world because there, outside the yard, the universe ended. But on this side was the battleground to conquer step by step, at the first opening the enemy offered. My back leaning against wet wood, my hands in leaves still wet, I held my breath and I would have held the wind as well, so that it might not betray my presence. And the strategy had to be absolutely perfect, for the enemy not to see me when he turned around in the direction of the bush. Ten minutes passed. Some classmates were already out in the open. One was taken. I remained invisible, but it was not time to come out of hiding; the enemy was always too close to the cave. There was nothing to do but wait: he would come, if he had the courage, to the end of the world. The minutes passed, I heard yells from one classmate and complaints from another. They couldn’t find me and at a certain point Matt yelled that he wanted a new game. No, it was impossible. This was the battle that would change history and open new, unexplored areas in the world as we knew it. A few more minutes, then silence; they had given up. Matt took off a little ways on his bike: no one else was playing hide and seek, and I still remember the bitter disillusionment that planted itself, in an instant, in my heart. It came when I had the certainty that no one would be coming to look for me.
“We all need to be found,” wrote G.K. Chesterton, and when I read that sentence I smiled thinking of that day, as a little girl, when I was there for one hour in my perfect hiding spot and no one came to look for me. We all need someone to reach us where we are and uncover us in order to bring to light who we are deep down. “Come” is the verb of the lover who is willing to reach his beloved even at the ends of the earth. Behold the news that changes history: our God has become our lover. And to come he crossed the universe, broke through the heavens, took on a body of flesh and blood. St. Ambrose rereads His coming as the arrival of a lover: “For you I was covered with spit and beatings, I was stripped of my glory, I left my Father and came to you, you who hated me, fled me, and didn’t even want to hear my name; I ran after you, I followed your tracks to take you as my own; I united you, tied you to me, I held you tight, I embraced you. “Eat me,” I said, “Drink me…” I descend to earth, not only to mix myself with you, but to bind myself to you tightly. I am eaten, broken to pieces, so that our mixture, our fusion, our union, may be profound. Things that are united remain each one in itself; I on the other hand penetrate you from every direction. I don’t want there to be anything between the two of us: I want the two to become one.” Behold Christmas: the mystery of a God who, from far off, comes to visit us. We – all too unaware – don’t believe in just a God who is and who was, an eternal, infinite, omnipotent Deity: in the book of Revelation He presents Himself as “He who is, and who was, and who is to come” (Rev 1:8). A God in motion, an untiring God. He came to us with his Incarnation: that’s the mystery we are preparing to celebrate, not just to thank, to recognize his loving face in the Child given to us, but also to enkindle within ourselves a living hope.
Yes: we await a God that will come, that will return in glory to take up again all that is His: blessed are they that are “found in Him;” blessed are we who are His, who belong to Him and desire to be found by He who come to seek. “Come Lord Jesus”: these are the Bible’s last words (Rev 22:20). And He comes today as well: He comes to us every time we call upon Him; He comes when we pray to the Father with the prayer Jesus taught us. “Your kingdom come:” because the Kingdom is Christ, the bridegroom, the lover. “The Kingdom of God is among you,” Jesus said to those who questioned him (Lk 17:21). But if Christ is with us and will be until the end of time, why do we need to call on Him? What do we ask when we say “Your kingdom come”? We ask that He may find all, so that no one awaits Him in vain. We ask that He may find also those who are not seeking him (Is 65:1). All, no one excluded, so that He may be “all in all,” so that all, on the last day may be His.
And here our mission is revealed, the mission of the Christian in the Church, called to carve the coming Christ into the centuries. A great mission: to bring all to Christ so that all become His. To bring the material world to Christ, that through our work becomes transformed and sanctified. “The whole of creation groans and suffers until today in pangs of labor” (Rm 8:19): the universe waits to be transfigured in order to welcome Christ. The work of our hand, of our mind, of our energy builds the Kingdom of God. extend my hands over the whole universe and take its immensity as the matter of my sacrifice.” To bring the spiritual world to Christ: the great priestly mission that continues throughout history. To bring one person to Jesus, in the simplicity and the greatness of one gesture, of one word, of one invitation that becomes a channel of grace, to build the Kingdom of God, to make present today that “Your Kingdom come” that for two thousand years Christians ask. Christ will come, when His word will have reached the ends of the earth: to announce Christ then, in the ordinariness of our life, is to anticipate His coming crying out, as only a lover can: “Come, Lord Jesus!”
In the season of Advent pray with faith: “Thy Kingdom Come” bringing to Christ our daily efforts and each day one person, who is close to us, announcing to them, by example and by word, that God is He who comes.