What a great refrain:  “the hand of the Lord has done this.” Advent invites us to honor this  power of God—past (in the birth of Jesus), future (in the return of the Lord), and present (in how God is with us now).

Advent beckons us with special Scriptures, with special people—Isaiah, the Baptist, Mary, Joseph—with special feelings, festivities, anticipations, hymns, and parish efforts. All these seasonal nudges are means to get our attention, so we can perceive all-the-more what “the hand of the Lord has done” in our lives.

Like Ignatius, we contemplate “the special favors” the Lord has done, re-affirming that the Lord is the provident hand in our lives—it’s not simply mere luck, happenstance, or my own doing.

Though St. Ignatius knew so keenly that “the gentle arrangement of divine providence requires (our) cooperation,” the Lord remains THE source of grace and blessings.  So, throughout this day and season let’s bring to mind what “the hand of the Lord has done” for us.

 —Fr. Richard Baumann, SJ serves as Tertian Director for the East Africa Jesuit province.  He is a native of Cincinnati OH and a past provincial of the Chicago Province..