Advent Reflection: Blessed are the Pure in Heart

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” Matthew 5:8

Adoration of the Shepherds by Francois Boucher (1703-1770)

God is right here, right now. Oftentimes we don’t see Him because He’s so close. God is love, and love is patient, kind, and humble. Busied with distractions, we don’t hear His still small voice (1Kings 19:12). Cluttered with worldly concerns and aspirations, Christ’s deeper calling gets buried and lost in the mess. How can we see Christ when we struggle to see anyone? Purity in heart means allowing the Holy Spirit to change our calloused hearts of stone into sensitive hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). It means seeing each person as Christ does: as someone sacred, eternal, unrepeatable, and loved unimaginably by the Lord. Oftentimes we mistreat another person because we view them as something rather than someone. Whether as a means to gratify some desire, or as an obstacle to our will, we view them in a way reduced to our passions rather than as an independent person, a brother or sister in the family of God with their own divine calling and dignity. Purity in heart includes how we see ourselves, learning to treat and value our own bodies, souls, and lives with the reverence they deserve. It means living as a child of God instead of identifying our value with status, success, or wealth.

Jesus, the Word of God, “became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth”(John 1:14). If we long to say, as St. John did, that “we have seen His glory”, then we must purify our hearts to truly love and treasure that which is most precious and in humble form. Jesus drew near in His divine humanity, may we quiet our hearts and simplify our lives, with His help, that we may see Him truly, here with us whom He loves.

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