by Sr Anita Rolenc ND
Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
Matthew 2: 13-15, 19-23
In Sirach, notice the “blessings” that follow respect/honor/kindness to one’s parents. As grown adults, maybe the blessings we experience now are a result of the way we treated our parents when we were youngsters.
St. Paul, in Colossians, lists the virtues needed to live amiably with others. Take a serious look at that list. Which one stands out as lacking in self?
The familiar scene of the Holy Family fleeing into Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod is repeated today by millions of refugees and immigrants displaced because of oppressive situations. While most of us are unable to assist these people, we can show concern to the neighbor in need, welcome a stranger, forgive a family member, or reach out to others in countless ways.
Ask Jesus, Mary and Joseph to bless your family and all families with holiness!
by Kathy Schinker, Notre Dame Associate
This Sunday’s Gospel describes the situation Joseph finds himself in. What a scandal it would be if he would divorce Mary. But he did not. He listened to the Angel’s message and followed through. In this wonderful Christmas season we have cause to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus. Joseph appears to stand in the shadows but he made a pivotal decision to become Christ’s earthly father. I ponder over what questions he must have had but he did as the Angel of the Lord instructed.
This last Sunday before Christmas Day, I pray to St. Joseph that I will make good ones when faced with difficult decisions, when outcomes are cloudy and/or I could be ridiculed or shunned.
During the remaining days of this Advent season let us remember the decisions Joseph made for this Holy Family all the days of his life. May we follow the example of Joseph and care for our families and loved ones with the gentleness , dedication, joyful service and love that he did.
By Mary Toline, Notre Dame Associate
The Second Reading hit home as with a reading from Saint James. He says be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient. Make you hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another, that you may not be judged. Behold, the judge is standing before the gates. Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Patience they say is a gift and something one learns. While watching my grandkids I have noticed that the older one accepts waiting for a treat or a meal to be prepared a little better. But the younger ones don’t understand why they can’t have what they want right now.
As we prepare for Christmas and go thru Advent, we need patience to prepare for the coming of Jesus. The older children and adults have a better understanding of using patience as have done many times before to get ready for this joyous occasion. So much to prepare with food, gifts, and getting our hearts ready. We need to be good examples for the little ones that haven’t accomplished patience yet. We also need to sacrifice our time to just sit and be with our Lord and think about all the precious things that he has brought to us this last year. Just sit and look at the beautiful lights on our trees, outside lights, and just the beauty in the skies. We have all been blessed in many ways and need to sing praises!
Merry Christmas to everyone!
by Rita Melgares, Notre Dame Associate
In this Sunday’s Gospel, we are reminded of John the Baptist’s message:
Turn from your sins
Turn to God
For the Kingdom of Heaven
Is coming soon
John the Baptist calls for a change of heart and conduct – a turning of one’s life from rebellion to obedience toward God.
Take time during this second week of Advent to reflect on where you are on this repentance journey.
Are you ready to turn from rebellion to obedience?
Remember, repentance brings us to the promise of a new beginning.
Barbara Hickey, Notre Dame Associate
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
The first candle being lit today is purple, symbolizing hope. It is sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Jesus.
The Christmas season is a time when lives get busy with shopping for that perfect gift, writing and sending out Christmas cards, lots of cooking and baking to do ahead of time, parties to attend, and the list goes on.
During this time, take time to think about the thoughts of Mary and Joseph as they take on their responsibility of raising Jesus - their apprehensions, their fears, their joys.
Give us ears to hear, O God, and eyes to watch, that we may know your presence in our midst during this holy season of joy as we anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ. Amen