Advent is the time for followers of Jesus to wait with eager anticipation for the birth of the Messiah. For many of our immigrant sisters and brothers, the hope of Advent exists only in so far as they know that there are many others who stand in solidarity with them advocating for justice.
The story of Jesus’ birth still carries a strong message for the United States today; that providing hospitality to those who most need it can being unexpected blessings. It also parallels much of our national context today when the ruling authorities, threatened by the mere presence of Jesus as a baby, crack down with overwhelming power, far beyond what was necessary.
But it’s not simply that he couldn’t speak. It’s that God created the conditions for him to listen more deeply. As a priest in the temple, I can only imagine what he heard, what he saw; what God wanted him to hear, what God forced him to see. Without the temptation of speaking, he could perhaps listen with the ears of the heart.