Fourth Sunday of Advent, Cycle B (Dec. 20, 2015)

After years of political turmoil, bombings, and the attack on a Russianpassenger jet, the number of foreign visitors to Egypt is in precipitousdecline. The tourism industry is in crisis. In response, the Egyptiangovernment is eager to discover, and open to the public, archeologicaltreasures so spectacular that they will inspire tourists to return.

As part of this effort, the Great Pyramid of Giza is being subjectedto a regimen of scans using infrared thermography, muon radiography and3D reconstruction. The thermal scans look for temperature differences inthe rock that could indicate hidden passages or chambers in the pyramid.Now scientists have found what they are calling an “impressive anomaly”in the stone, which might lead to a major discovery.It occurs to me that the thermal scans seeking hidden chambers inthe Great Pyramid are analogous to the manner in which God continuallyscans our hearts in search of hidden empty places. God seeks “significantanomalies” in each of us indications that we are not, after all, entirelyfilled up with anxiety, selfish pre-occupations, self-loathing and ultimatelymeaningless mind games. God never abandons the hope that, despite allappearances to the contrary, we have hearts of flesh and not of stone.And while the government of Egypt doubtless hopes that empty spaces inthe Great Pyramid will contain treasure, the empty places in our heartsare themselves treasured by God. For while the Egyptians hope thatdroves of tourists will rush into any hidden chambers found in thepyramid, the grace of God will rush into the hidden chambers of ourhearts, and accomplish the 3D reconstruction of our relationship with

As the holy season of Advent draws to a close, let’s allow God’smercy to expel the spiritual clutter accumulated during the old year, andso prepare a chamber in our hearts to receive the Holy Child who comesto us at Christmas. Then, while there may be no room for him at the inn,there will be room for him in us.

Fr. Charles Gordon, C.S.C.

Rev. Charles B. Gordon, C.S.C., is co-director of the Garaventa Center for Catholic Intellectual Life and American Culture at the University of Portland. He writes and records a regular blog called “Fractio Verbi.”

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