One of our deepest longings as human beings, as social beings, is to be understood even (or perhaps especially) in our most perplexing and difficult moments. We long to be loved for who we are, with the worst of our shortcomings and the best of our gifts. This seems especially so in this year of social distancing and limited contact with loved ones. We want people in our lives who will rejoice with us, who will weep with us, who will simply be present to us. In these moments of deep connection with one another, we truly experience the presence of God in our midst, renewing us in his love. This is the promise of the prophets, a promise that came to fulfillment in the incarnation. Our faith tells us that no matter our present circumstances, God draws near and holds us close to those we love, no matter the distance.
—from the book Simple Gifts: Daily Reflections for Advent
by Diane M. Houdek