Faith · Religious life · spirituaility

December 18th – Emmanuel

Scripture Reflection . . .

Fourth Sunday of Advent

First Reading: Isaiah 7:10-14

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 24 “Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.”

Second Reading: Romans 1:1-7

Gospel:Matthew 1: 18-24

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” ‘The virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means ‘God is with us.’ ” (Isaiah and Matthew)

I could write about the strange, outwardly appearing scandalous circumstances in which God chose to come into the world and dwell among us.

However, the Entrance Antiphon for this Fourth Sunday of Advent caught my attention:

Drop down dew from above, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down the Just One; let the earth be opened and bring forth a Savior. (Cf. Isaiah 45:8)

Yes, Jesus entered the world to dwell among us as a baby (St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans writes that Jesus “descended from David according to the flesh”).

Yet, could it be that God also enters the world with and in all of creation – dew, rain, seeds and seedlings . . . and in so many other forms of life?  The work of the Creator is visible in creation.  God is truly with us – all around us!  A conversation with a friend the other day brought forth sharing about how God continues to speak to us and appear to us today – we just have to notice.

The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it. (Psalm 24).

This Fourth Sunday, let us marvel at the creativity of God who desires to be with us and all of God’s creation.

Orignial Artwork by Sr. Ana Dura, CSR
Original Artwork    by     Sr. Ana Dura, CSR

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

The Responsorial Psalm response sings, “Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.”

We reflect on all the ways and forms in which the Lord has entered into our lives this past week:

The Lord entered through the door with the safe return of our Province Leader Sister from her meeting in Germany.

The Lord entered into our lives with all of our co-workers, volunteers, and visitors who partook of the many annual holiday celebrations in our ministries.

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The Lord entered into our lives with community and the aroma of baking cookies as we joined in our tradition of baking and packing Christmas cookies.

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The Lord entered our day with the singing of Christmas carols, sharing of stories, and sipping of hot chocolate as our senior Sisters gathered on a wintry afternoon.

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The Lord entered in with a giant crane as a generous neighbor helped move our goat sheds to a warmer, drier location.

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As the week comes to an end, the Lord enters our lives as we celebrate the birthday of Sr. Anne Marie and the gift of her life among us.

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In Your Life . . .

During this week before Christmas, consider scheduling a time in your week to sit with God asking to notice all the ways in which God has been present in your life.  What have been the moments when you have experienced the Lord entering into your life?  In what persons? In what circumstances? In nature? In song or music?

Give thanks for all the ways God has been with you.

You may want to ask God for whatever you need in order to receive God’s presence and love this Christmas and in the New Year.

Blessings on your Fourth Week of Advent!

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