In 1930, Jesuit priest and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin completed his magnum opus, “The Phenomenon of Man,” which was published 25 years later. In it, Teilhard posits his most complete theory of the Omega Point—the evolution of the whole of creation toward what is more than a simple synthesis of all things.
The Gospel for this First Sunday of Advent speaks of this Omega Point, the Second Coming of Christ. This gives us one core truth of our faith and our life, that everything in the march of the history of human civilization has a purpose, a goal that everything is moving towards an Omega Point.
Roseanna Sanders writes: “What we have done will not be lost to all eternity. Everything ripens and bears fruit in its own hour.” This is the assurance Christ gives us as we celebrate the “kick-off” to Advent and the two graces of the season.
Mystery of Our Faith
The first is the gift of remembering the final element of the Mystery of Our Faith, that “Christ will come again.” Second is we are reminded that our life of faith is one of infinite “second chances,” multiple new beginnings.
Fr. Benny Calpotura, S.J., introduced spiritual formation as a spiral process of growth and development. He contrasts it with a linear process where one simply moves from one point to another with not much integration, a life “full of sound and fury signifying nothing” (from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”).
Neither is it a circular process where we literally go around in circles.
The spiral process, especially in a 3D version, begins and ends with wholeness—the integrity of our identity, which is our mission, our sharing in Christ’s mission to make our world better. We go over and over our life, but each time with greater integration and a deeper sense of our mission, plus the grace to say “yes.”
As many psychologists, especially of the Jungian school, and spiritual writers say, we come into this world whole, integrated. Parker Palmer calls this “birthright gifts.” This is the DNA of our integrity, consisting of our identity and mission.
And, as the story goes, we unravel and disintegrate. Palmer says we are trained away from our true self.
At a certain point, we ask: “Is the life I am living the same life that wants to live in me? So, how do [we] get back?” We journey back to being a “human being.” It’s a journey back to wholeness, to integrity.
The grace of Advent, remembering our purpose and meaning, our mission: “Christ will come again.” Thus, everything we do is within this horizon of faith that he died for us, is risen and will come again.
How do we get back? Remember how much currency of love was used to pay for our freedom. And let not our present state, no matter what it is, make us forget that Advent is a season of new beginnings that give us the opportunity to do better. At any point, we can go back, start over again and do better.
This season is a new beginning to journey back home, back to the manger where it all started—this Mystery of Our Faith. There is a good place to go back home and from there to start to journey again, refreshed, renewed, reconnected.
Today we are assured, “when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand… Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22: 13) This is the season of remembering and starting over again with deeper faith and greater hope. –CONTRIBUTED