Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.--Psalm 80:4
Teaching John Keats' poem, ''Ode on a Grecian Urn,'' is tricky. But at the poem's core is a universal reality. Sometimes the expectation of something far outweighs the joy of the experience itself. Keats addresses the young man on the urn who is in hot pursuit of his love and argues that this particular love can never fade because it will never be attained. ''Heard melodies are sweet,'' Keats maintains, ''but those unheard are sweeter.''
The season of Advent defies that view of expectation because what arrived -- the Messiah -- far exceeded anyone's wishes. At the moment of the Incarnation, eternity intersected with time and God stepped into our midst. This Gift is far more than anyone could have hope for or imagined.
Prayer: Help us prepare our expectant spirits, O Lord, to better celebrate the feast of Your birth.