Scripture Reflection . . .
The Third Sunday of Advent issues the gentle command: Rejoice!
Perhaps it is a timely message in the midst of Christmas preparations. The Readings contain comforting words such as ” Have no anxiety at all . . .” (Philippians 4:4-7), ” Fear not, be not discouraged!” (Zephaniah 3:14-18).
The Gospel (Luke 3:10 – 18) reports that the people were filled with expectation and asking “What should we do?”
The response of John the Baptist may be quite different then we expect or want to hear: “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” Be just in your dealings and don’t take more than your fair share.
While we are called to rejoice in the gift of God’s coming to dwell among us we can often get caught up in the anxieties of shopping, decorating, baking, party planning, etc. This Third Week of Advent is a good reminder to remember what this season is all about: expectant joyful waiting for the greatest Gift, sharing this joy with others, and believing this Gift of God rejoices in you! “The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you . . .” (Zephaniah 3:14-18).
In Our Lives as Sisters of The Holy Redeemer. . .
As we look back on the past week we rejoice in the following experiences of God’s presence among us, in the midst of our preparations for the great celebration of Christmas:
A gathering of friends around the table who have so often shared generously their gifts of time and resources to support our Congregation. We enjoyed dinner and conversation together as we shared our gratitude.
We gathered for a special day of prayer on December 8th – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, our Province Feast Day. It was also the opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. What greater reason to rejoice then the truth of God’s mercy! During the day we shared our reflections on Pope Francis’ document, Misericordiae Vultus.
This day also marked the formal beginning of our preparations for our Privince Chapter to be held in July 2016. This special meeting takes place every 5 years and guides us in the Mission entrusted us by God. We rejoice in the Holy Spirit and our Sisters who lead the process.
Two Sisters begin retreat – what a wonderful time to enter into a silent week of prayer as we await Christmas! And one Sister celebrated her Feast Day with Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Christmas cookie baking also brought much joy to both those who baked and those who sampled!
In Your Life. . .
This may be a good time to pause from all your activities to check in with the state of your heart and being. As Christmas Day draws near do you feel anxious, expectant, excited, joyful, sad?
How do you want to be? What would help you more fully embrace this season of joy? How can you bring joy to others who may be struggling this season? How might you share what you have (time, resources, love) with those who have little?
Blessings on your Third Week of Advent!