Faith · Religious life · spirituaility

December 4th – Preparing our homes and hearts

Scripture Reflection . . .

Second Sunday of Advent

First Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10

Responsorial Psalm:Psalm 72 “Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace forever.”

Second Reading: Romans 15:4-9

Gospel:Matthew 3:1-12

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As we enter into this Second Week of Advent the scriptures are filled with images or signs depicting the presence of God, perhaps to help prepare us to welcome Christ.  In the First Reading we hear of  what appears to be the peaceable kingdom – animals and people living in harmony. “On that day, the root of Jesse set up as a signal for the nations . . .”  Do we notice the signs? Do we notice the need for peace between the “lamb” and “wolf;” the “cow” and “bear” dwelling within our own beings? Do we give witness to the love, justice and peace of Jesus by our lives?

St. Paul urges us to “think in harmony with one another in keeping with Christ Jesus . . .” and to “Welcome one another, as Christ welcomed you . . .”  He points to the Scriptures, as a source of encouragement, revealing the truth of God’s love – a love that accepts and welcomes.

John the Baptist is the “voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”  Here we see and hear the very visible sign of the coming of the Christ.  Perhaps we read stories and hear voices during our days that challenge us by the stark truth. We might resist the message and messenger because it threatens our comfort. But this very resistance can be a sign – a sign that our deepest self desires conversion – freedom, welcome, love . . .

As we journey closer to Christmas let us not only prepare our homes, but also our hearts, to welcome our own self, others and the Christ.

In Our Lives as Sisters of The Holy Redeemer . . .

There are many external signs among us that are helping prepare our hearts to notice and receive Jesus as He enters into our lives:

Last Sunday we entered into Advent with our first Sunday Evening Advent Prayer service, to be held each Sunday evening of Advent in our Chapel. We gathered together around the Altar and Advent Wreath with the words “Come, Savior of the Nations, Shine on us.”

advent-prayer-service

Cookie baking for St. Nicholas Day and Christmas began this past week as well.  Baking these cookies is a special tradition that we enjoy sharing as a sign of hospitality.

cookie-baking

The Christmas Shoppe at our Art ministry opened Friday evening.  The talents of local artists and crafters is offered for wonderful gifts and in support of our ministry to women and children experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia.

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christmas-shoppe

In the midst of these preparations we also

Celebrated Sr. Kathy Rose’s Feast day

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Congratulated Sr. Maryanne on the conclusion of her Master’s degree

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Wished safe travels and wisdom to Sr. Anne Marie and she headed off for Germany for a leadership meeting.

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These Sisters and each member in community are the signs available to us each day of God’s presence.  We strive daily to welcome one another, others and Jesus, Our Redeemer.

In Your Life . . .

This a good time to pause and notice the events of your life, the stirrings of your spirit, the course of your actions and your various emotions since last week.  When have you been more alert and awake (see last week’s blog post)?    Where has there been light and/or darkness?  What have you noticed?

You may also want to reflect on the following as you enter into this Second Week of Advent:

Have you noticed the lamb in yourself?  How about the wolf?  Have these been reconciled to one another?  Does one need to be accepted and welcomed so that you can experience peace and harmony?

lamb-and-lion-2

Is there  a “voice” that you are resisting?  What might God want to share with you about this resistance?

Blessings on your Second Week of Advent!

 

 

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