Scripture Reflection . . .
Third Sunday of Advent
First Reading: Isaiah 35:1-6,10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 146 “Lord, come and save us.”
Second Reading: James 5:7-10
Gospel: Matthew 11:2-11
The Readings today proclaim the coming of the Lord and call us to “Be strong, fear not!” (Isaiah) and to “Be patient.” (James).
Isaiah shares this incredible news, “Here is your God . . . He comes to save you.” And we can rejoice because we know God came as a baby to dwell among us and has already saved us by his self-giving love. We are already redeemed!
Though perhaps we still feel blind, deaf and lame. Are we looking for a different kind of savior? Perhaps, like John the Baptist we struggle to understand and believe. Perhaps we are expecting a Savior who will wipe out all injustice and save the nation with mighty power. And yet we have a God who comes to us vulnerable and powerless. A God who knows our weaknesses and who first wants to heal and forgive each person – “the blind regain their sight, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” (Matthew).
This is a God for all people, a God for you and me; a God for us – Rejoice!
In Our Lives as Sisters of The Holy Redeemer . . .
This past week has been filled with occasions to rejoice, so we pause here to notice our God in the midst of our lives:
We continue to prayer with our Advent theme “Come, Savior of the Nations. Shine on us” as we gathered for our weekly Sunday Evening prayer.
Holiday festivities began throughout our ministries and we enjoy joining in to serve holiday meals to employees and visitors.
As is our custom, we came together for our annual day of reflection on the Feast of The Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary. We prayed with the gift of Gods love for us and all of creation in the recounting of the story of the conception of the universe. How can we not notice and rejoice in the creativity of God that is all around us!
One of our Sisters traveled to Baltimore to join in a leadership training that is rooted in servant leadership of Jesus.
Another Sister departed for her annual retreat – what a wonderful season to be with our Redeemer in so special a way.
As the week came to an end, a Sister and Redeemer Associate visited a local elementary school to share about our school in Tanzania, East Africa, which the students here are hoping to help support. The children in both schools recently began a pen pal program in the hopes of learning more about each other and to expand their awareness of the world. Yet another reason to rejoice!
In Your Life . . .
How are you at this point on you Advent journey? Perhaps you are feeling the pressure of it being 2 weeks until Christmas or the loneliness and depression that is a part of so many people’s lives this time of year. Perhaps you are rejoicing and filled with expectation.
However you are you may wish to pause to hear these words from Bridget Mary Meehan, Your Prayerful Journal for Advent:
In her autobiography, Before the Living God, contemporary spiritual writer Ruth Burrows says, “The whole meaning of our existence and the one consuming desire of the heart of God is that we let ourselves be loved.” So often we look for joy and fulfillment in people, places, or things that eventually leave us feeling empty and alone. We let the preoccupations of daily life choke our experience of the joy of Christ’s coming in our lives. No matter how busy or stressed we feel, no matter how lonely or empty we may be, Christ waits to embrace us and fill us with joy – just as we are.
Blessings on your Third Week of Advent!