"Previously God, who has neither a body nor a face, absolutely could not be represented by an image. But now that he has made himself visible in the flesh and has lived with men, I can make an image of what I have seen of God ... and contemplate the glory of the Lord, his face unveiled."
When we pray with holy images we don't worship or venerate the material from which they were made but the reality they portray. They are like windows that open our hearts and minds to the reality beyond them.
Each of us, in turn, is called to be an image of Christ. As members of the Body of Christ, we are to reveal him to the world. With this in mind let's pray that Advent may help us get rid of anything that distorts the image of Christ in us. And, on this feast of a native Syrian saint, let's pray for all the Syrian people but especially our Christian brothers and sisters who find themselves in an increasingly hostile environment.