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Fourth Week of Advent
December 15, 2016 11:56 AM

Advent is a time of getting ready to celebrate the birthday of Jesus—the Incarnation—when the Second Person of the Trinity becomes a tiny, helpless infant by laying aside His divinity. By becoming like us, Jesus gives us the example of letting go and let God’s plan come as He would experience life, death, and resurrection.

The Scriptures give us evidence how Jesus reaches out to His fellow human beings with deep concern, care and love.  The conviction and experience of his Father’s love and Jesus’ love for humanity enabled him to reach out to others in a self-less and unconditional way.

This gesture of reaching out to others can be an inspiration for us in Advent. May we experience the sharing of unconditional love by reaching out to others through prayer or encounters such as writing messages of love in Christmas cards, taking time to be with friends, family, or someone we have never met. With each encounter, we are mindful that we are sharing Christ’s love. Another way to enrich our observance of Advent is by attending Mass which will enables us to draw strength to experience the unconditional love of Jesus and welcome Jesus into our lives.

May we let go and let God come to us during these final days of Advent as we experience the love of Jesus and grace of God.

Posted By Sister Rosily Menachery, OSF
Posted in Advent Meditations | 0 Replies
Third Week of Advent
December 11, 2016 9:49 AM

As we journey through life, we encounter mile markers along our path; these can remind us of our goal and assure us that we are on the correct path.

Today we reach the mid-point of Advent. What is on our mind? Are we planning dinner menus, trips to relatives, and considering gifts for family and friends?  If so, let us pause and focus our attention on the gift that Advent can be for us.

Advent offers us spiritual mile markers that can help us become more aware of the Lord’s presence in our life. During these hectic days of holiday preparation, let us take time to recognize God’s presence in others and in ourselves. If our mind is so busy that often we are not hearing what others are saying, how can our heart be open and ready to discover the deeper meaning of Christmas?

Each of us defines ourselves by the choices we make by our responses to life and to the Lord.  Do we go along with the crowd or do we create space in our day to prepare for the celebration of the birth of God’s Son?

In these days of Advent, let us establish mile markers to guide us in what we are seeking.  Are the choices we make strengthening our faith and self-gifting to others?  This week, give the gift of a few minutes each day in thanking God for one or two blessings, big or small, as we grow closer to receiving the greatest gift of all.

Posted By Sister MaryAnn Falbe, OSF
Posted in Advent Meditations | 0 Replies
Second Week of Advent
December 1, 2016 3:13 PM

Today we encounter the John the Baptist, the central figure of the Advent season, who was a contemporary of Jesus and was born through the intercession of his parents, Zachariah and Elizabeth. They were elderly and to have a child was no longer possible for them until the Angel Gabriel visited and announced that they would have a son. Zachariah was skeptical and was rendered mute until his son was born. After the child’s birth, he prophesied what his son’s mission would be: “You my child shall be called the prophet of the most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.” (Canticle of Zachariah)

John fulfilled his mission by going into the desert and preaching to the people. They were to prepare for the coming of the Messiah by the repentance of their sins and the conversion of their lives. Thousands responded to his approach and after listening to him did repent and were baptized by John. He did not perform any miracles and yet his influence was phenomenal. Even Jesus said of John: “Among those born of women there was not one greater than John the Baptist.” (Mt. 11:11)

John instructed his followers to turn to Christ and reform their lives and so we too are invited to prepare ourselves for Jesus’ coming through our repentance and reformation of our lives. In these days of Advent, let us be prophets and announce the coming of Christ, our Lord and God through our words, deeds, and actions.

Posted By Sister Mary Ann Minor, OSF
Posted in Advent Meditations | 0 Replies
First Week of Advent
November 21, 2016 2:02 PM

Several Sundays ago I happened to look at the eastern horizon just as the supermoon was rising over the tree line. Early the following morning, as I sat in my prayer chair, again I happened to look up at the darkness and there was the moon slowly setting behind the tall pine tree while in the east the sun was slowly bringing the light of day. It gave me a sense of calm and peace of mind and heart as I felt awe for our common home, Mother Earth.

Advent calls me to ponder light and darkness in our world community and the community of which I am a part in my daily life as the time of darkness grows each day during Advent as we move into winter. Spiritually, I recall what darkness means, what Jesus proclaimed about the darkness and the meaning of light as He told us, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn. 8:12) We need not fear the darkness. In the stillness and quiet of darkness, the Holy Spirit can instruct our minds and hearts how to live the Gospel life that Jesus came to announce. As we follow His teachings, written in the Scriptures, we will have a way of life that will proclaim “You are the light of the world. Just so your light must shine before others.” (Mt. 5:14-16)

As an Advent practice, open your New Testament Bible and read as you search for the very practical teachings of Jesus, trusting that the Holy Spirit will lead you each day to the words of Jesus that are meant for you. His teachings will enlighten your minds and hearts, dispelling any darkness that will prevent you from being the “light of the World.” Come Lord Jesus.

Posted By Sister Ann Mathieu, OSF
Posted in Advent Meditations | 0 Replies

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