The Only Advent Word

The teenage says, “That movie was awesome.” Wrong. Awesome is used when the sun falls from the sky. What is the Advent word of all Advent words? “Behold.”

Alarmingly attentive. Takes your breath away. Forces you to pause and ponder. At first glance, our response is disbelief until quickly becoming belief. Sometimes a one-time event, never to be repeated. (A redundant sentence meant for emphasis.) Behold is having mindful eyes toward something and finding yourself speechless. Behold cannot be held, placed on a shelf, or stored away for safekeeping. Behold proudly stands before you, soon to reside and live within every fiber of your being. “Behold.”

I preached about “behold” before and after Mass a parishioner told another, “I beholding the door for you.” I didn’t laugh, but it was cute. An extraordinary word reserved for this extra-ordinary season we call Advent.

What childlike eyes and ears can we readapt to behold once again this beautiful season of anticipation, wonder, and hope? This year, what can we behold from our past and confidently wonder what lies ahead. That is the birth of Jesus Christ. Said by the Blessed Mother’s “Behold,” to the priest holding up the cross on Good Friday saying “Behold the wood…” to holding up the host at Mass and saying, “Behold the Lamb of God…” No matter about our aging eyes or softening hearing, can we properly use and live this glorious word? Can we say it to ourselves, even softly? Can we, even inadequately, share it with others?

It’s the best and only word that describes this sacred season. “Behold.”

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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