Come Not as a Prince in a Gold Palace, But as a Displaced and Frightened Refugee

Reflection by Josabel A.


“I go to mass every Sunday, I work in University Ministry, and I am surrounded by Marianist priests, brothers, friends, and classmates. I go to retreats and help plan retreats. I help with the liturgies and I sing in the chapel choir. Surely, I am the holiest student that St. Mary’s University has ever seen or heard of – I am better than my peers I know for sure there’s a special spot for me in heaven!”

Real talk:

Once upon a time, I used to have a mentality similar to the one said above. In high school, I was involved with just as many organizations as I was involved with church related organizations. I would boast to my peers about how I would go to mass on a Friday night as opposed to the mall or the movies. I would hold my head up high knowing that I am “religious” and look down upon those who I deemed “unholy”. I was that person.

My parents raised me to always be humble and show humility in anything and everything I do. I had no idea what that truly entailed until I came to St. Mary’s University. These past four years, I have learned to look at people for who they are and the gifts and talents they have to offer as oppose to what they are involved in and the decisions they make. Sometimes I catch myself reverting back to my judgmental days but what I have also learned and come to accept is that I, along with everyone else in the world, am not perfect nor will I ever reach perfection.

In the midst of relentless commotion and trying to accomplish the ongoing daily tasks without stopping to take a moment to breathe, pray, and thank God, I feel a certain emptiness inside of me.  It’s like buying a taco only to find out that there isn’t anything inside the taco. Just like the tortilla, my life is empty and meaningless without my main source of energy, Jesus Christ. This is one of the reasons why I love the season of Advent. This is the time where I can take a step back and reflect upon my life and the gifts and talents I am able to share with my community. This is the season of Maranatha (Come, O Lord), to anticipate God’s glory. All the gifts and talents we possess and share were never ours to begin with. This is the season to exemplify humility and “come not as a prince in a gold palace, but as a displaced and frightened refugee.” During this Advent season, this journey we take together as brothers and sisters in Christ will not be an easy journey, but I challenge myself along with the St. Mary’s community to do what we do best by helping one another carry each other’s cross and “reclaim the light of the Messiah in our own lives.” And when it comes to humility may I always recall the words of St. Paul, “But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus, come! 

Josabel A. is a Senior Exercise and Sports Science major with a concentration is Pre-Nursing.  She is an active member of the Chapel Choir,  Leadership In Faith Training (L.I.F.T.) Program, Filipino Student Association, Black Student Union: Step Team, and a Resident Assistant.


About I.Q.

Irene began working with St. Mary's University in August of 2008. She currently serves as the Minister for Faith Formation and Faith Enrichment with University Ministry and as adjunct faculty with the Theology Department. Irene holds a M.A. in Systematic & Philosophical Theology and Ethics & Social Theory. As well as a B.A. in Religious Studies and Philosophy.

Posted on December 9, 2013, in Advent Reflection. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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