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
Rejoice. Be Patient. Seek and see. These words are echoed in the Readings today. Although proclaimed long ago they continue to have relevance today. Just as the Jewish people looked for the coming of the Messiah we too wait in hope for when we too shall see our God face to face. Yet, we can rejoice for this Savior has come into the world and we celebrate this coming every year at Christmas. We reenact the centuries long wait each Advent as we prepare for Christmas. In this waiting for December 25th or the eternal reunion we hear the call to be patient. Only with a patient heart can we bear the anxieties, fears, doubts and unknown without complaint as St. James describes. With patience we can endure the passing of time and uncertainties. Patience does not discourage active seeking nor aattentiveness to day-to-day events. If anything patience may actually heighten awareness of God’s presence and activity in our lives. Jesus has John’s disciples report all that they see: the lame made whole, dead brought to life, deaf made to hear, sick are healed . . . Notice the good news!
In our patient seeking; our steadfast attentiveness, there is to be found much reason to rejoice.
As we draw closer to the great celebration of Christmas, take time to seek for and to notice the coming of Christ into your life. Rejoice in the “sightings” of wholeness, healing and good news in your life when the light breaks through whatever darkness there is within and around. Rejoice. Be patient. Seek and see.
In Our Lives as Sisters of the Redeemer . . .
By this time of the Advent season there are many activities in which to be immersed in preparation for Christmas. Each of these events are opportunities for nurturing the call to patient attentiveness and rejoicing or else they become merely occasions of business and we miss the coming of Jesus in the moment.
This past week we participated in serving staff and visitors a holiday meal within our ministries. It could be merely seen as serving food or the opportunity to smile and share a greeting – welcoming the Presence in another.
We also gathered together to bake Christmas cookies which we will share as gifts at the upcoming celebrations. This could be just a tedious tradition but we seek to make it a time of rejoicing and sharing some goodness.
Gradually Christmas decorations are appearing around our convents in anticipation of the great Feast. We try to maintain the Advent season in a spirit of patient hopeful waiting at a time when society pushes for more, faster and sooner only to miss seeing the true Gift.
In Your Life . . .
This week you may wish to make a list or write in a journal at the end of each day to note the moments of rejoicing be it in little things are significant happenings. Take note of opportunities to practice patience and patient waiting. When were you able to slow down within and still activity enough to notice the gifts of wholeness, freedom, joy, light? What did you see in each day? Who did you see?
Blessings on your third week of Advent!