“The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song” Isaiah 35: 1-6.
These words from Isaiah on the Third Sunday of Advent paint a beautiful image of desolate landscape flourishing. It offers us hope that what may be barren or bleak in our lives can be transformed into beauty. Or another way to look at it – perhaps those barrens places are what can potential transform our lives. The Sisters see this as a value they seek to embody and share: Redemptive Suffering. What may appear desolate can hold grace; God is with us. And this gives reason to rejoice.
The Sisters also had many other reasons to rejoice this week:
On the Third Sunday of Advent the young women who are Redeemer Ministry Corps volunteers this year led evening prayer – a beautiful experience of song and reflective readings.
On Monday the Sisters gathered at one of the convents to celebrate one of the Sister’s 40th Jubilee with Mass and Dinner. There was much reason to rejoice as we gathered together.
On Tuesday evening several Sisters packed boxes of homemade Christmas cookies to be given as gifts. Many hands make for quick work and many good spirits make for a fun evening.
On Wednesday some of the Sisters were visited at there ministries for an impromptu photo shoot in order to have recent photos for the upcoming celebration of the 200th birthday of our Foundress, Mother Alphonse and the 90th anniversary of the Sisters presence in America. There was much to rejoice in observing these Sisters enjoying their ministries.
On Friday the Sisters hosted a Christmas party for all the co-workers and volunteers at the Provinicialate. There was much rejoicing during this festive event.
Two Sisters celebrated their birthdays this week as well – rejoicing in the gift of life and those who are a part of their lives.
As we enter into Christmas week pause to remember and rejoice in what this season is all about. God rejoices in us! And because of this came to dwell among us so that our sorrows and troubles and limitations can be transformed into joy and hope.
May you and your loved ones have a blessed Christmas!