Jesus tells us “that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.” This challenge to “recognize” Jesus is clearly much more than seeing him or even acknowledging where he came from. Rather, we need to see him, as Mother Teresa so often said, “in distressing disguise” – in the face of a spouse, a parent, a child. Jesus Christ is present here and now as the person who annoys me and disturbs me, who disrupts my plans and disappoints my expectations. To be kind to him I cannot simply stand on niceties. I have to change. I have to say things that don’t seem to come naturally, kind things. I have to give something I don’t seem to have to give. I have to open the door to my heart. During Advent each of us ought to ask for this grace: to see that it is Christ knocking at the door of our hearts and to let him in!

Lisa Lickona
from the Magnificat Advent Companion