The Innkeeper: An Advent Reflection

Since you’re here, EPIC Radio 103.5FM will be a new radio station in Wake Forest and we need your help!  Your donation of just $10 a month or more will help keep Catholic radio in our community.  Click here for more info.

Knock knock. The sound echoes in your house as you are sitting with your family around a table trying to eat a meal. This is not the first knock at your door today. You sit there, hoping that whoever it was will go away when you don’t answer the door. You wait. Knock knock. You know you have to answer the door now. Sighing, you get up and open the door to find a man. You know his question before he even asks. “No,” you say harshly, “I don’t have any room here!” Before closing the door, you look past the man and notice a young woman behind him who is noticeably pregnant. Your tone softens, “I’m sorry, we have no room. Try some place else.” The man looks tired, “Please, we are tired, and my wife is pregnant.” You shake your head, “We have no room here. I’m sorry.” You go to shut the door but then pause, “If you need, I suppose you can sleep in our stable. “

Right now, we are in the season of Advent. By definition, advent means “the arrival of a notable person or event,” which in our case refers to the birth of Jesus Christ. Thus, the season of Advent is the time before the arrival of Jesus; it is a time of waiting. What do we do when we await the arrival of a guest to our house? We prepare it. We clean our house, buy groceries, and make sure that they have a nice place to stay. Likewise, during the season of Advent, we are called to prepare our hearts and lives for Jesus.

The innkeeper in the nativity story was not prepared for the arrival of Jesus. Yes, it was a busy time for him while many people traveled to Bethlehem for the census. However, he closed the door when he had the opportunity to open it to the parents of Jesus and Jesus himself. Imagine what his life would have been like if he had a room for Jesus and his parents. Imagine the difference in his life.

We can take a hint from the innkeeper this Advent season. At this time, Bethlehem was busy and crowded. Likewise, our lives can be busy this time of year. Between finals, baking cookies, decorating the tree, buying presents, going to Christmas parties and all the other things we do during this season, we may be forgetting the most important thing: preparing room in our hearts for Jesus. Preparing ourselves for Jesus this Advent season is just as important, if not more, than anything else we do this season.

I’d invite you to look at and evaluate your schedule for the upcoming few weeks. Do you have time for Jesus scheduled? If not, where can you insert preparing for Him in your lives? Maybe preparing for Jesus looks like volunteering with your church or giving gifts for giving trees. Maybe it looks like visiting or inviting your lonely neighbor to your Christmas party. Maybe it looks like spending an hour in adoration every week. Maybe it looks like spending an extra 10 minutes of prayer in the morning. Whatever preparing for Jesus looks like in your life, be sure to do it so that you can have room for Him.

You, like the innkeeper, have a choice this season of Advent to open or close the door of your heart to Jesus and his invitation to you in this busy time. When you hear knocking at the door of your heart, will you have room to welcome Jesus?

In Christ,
Teresa Pillifant

Since you’re here, EPIC Radio 103.5FM will be a new radio station in Wake Forest and we need your help!  Your donation of just $10 a month or more will help keep Catholic radio in our community.  Click here for more info.

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