Christmas Rejoicing! Eph. 1:18-19

A prayer for the Christmas season is that "the eyes of our hearts be enlightened so we will come to know what the hope is to which God calls us. How glorious his glorious heritage shared among us!" (Cf. Eph. 1:18-19).

This is what the celebration of Christmas is all about. The darkness of winter, the shorter days and longer nights have turned toward the light. The days are becoming longer and the light is revealing what we couldn't see in the darkness. The great gift of Christmas is the coming of our salvation. All that we long for: whole relationships, security, control for a planned future... We don't have to give them up - we just gift them up to God and receive them back in such a way that they become the fullness of life.

Paul tells us "It is all yours, all is yours, you are Christ's and Christ's is Gods!" Our longings and desires are now turning toward the light. Our eyes are enlightend and we rejoice in the hope that is our vocation (call). Rejoice, Paul exhorts. Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I say Rejoice! 

Have a blessed and glorious revelation of God's love in Jesus through the Spirit this Christmas. May Jesus be born in us and grow to full stature.

Sr Margaret Kerry, fsp

Advent Waiting with Saints & Scripture

"Advent, this potent liturgical period we are entering, invites us to remain silent as we come to appreciate a presence. It is an invitation to understand that the individual events of the day are signs God addresses to us, signs of the care He has for each of us. How often does God make us aware of some aspect of His love! To maintain what we might call an 'inner diary' of this love would be a beautiful and rewarding task in our lives. Advent invites us and encourages us to contemplate the living Lord. Should not the certainty of His presence help us to see the world with different eyes?" Benedict XVI
The saints can help us see the world with different eyes. They have left their daily witness written on the hearts of believers. They intercede for us from within the communion of the saints as our brothers and sisters. Their eyes have seen what Paul said "eye has not seen nor ear heard what is prepared for us by the Lord." Our waiting can happen in real waiting situtations: the line in the grocery store, the traffic, waiting for a phone call or a letter, waiting for friendship, waiting for reconciliation. Our advent waiting with the saints reminds us that we can celebrate hope in Jesus coming to live among us to prepare a place for us to live forever.

The inner diary of love that we write as we wait in silence is contemplation. Our eyes are open to the mystical reality of communion with God and with one another.

Here are some scripture citations on waiting:

Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body.

Luke 1:21
Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple.

Luke 2:25
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

Luke 3:15
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ.

Luke 12:36
Like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.

 Luke 23:51
who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God.

Acts 22:16
And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.'

Hebrews 6:15
And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

Hebrews 9:28
so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.