Thursday, December 18, 2014
Rejoice! Jesus is with us -- always!
by Sister Rose Jochmann
Can you believe it? Christmas is just a few days away! How
is your Advent preparation going? Have you had some time to
remember what the season is about?
Christmas is the culmination of our Advent preparation. We
celebrate that Jesus, the Son of God, came to live among us, to
take on our humanness. That means Jesus knows our human suffering,
our human pain, our challenges with relationships. But, Jesus also
knows our human joy, our human happiness, and the beauty of
relationships. More than that, at Christmas we celebrate that Jesus
continues to live with each of us. Jesus promised us, as recorded
in Matthew's Gospel, that he will be with us always, until the end
So, as you finish your preparations for Christmas, don't let
yourself get stressed and anxious. Remember that the Lord is
near -- the Lord is with you. Rejoice! Bring that good news
to all those you meet on Christmas and throughout the Christmas
Thursday, December 5, 2013
During Advent, what are you waiting for?
by Sister Rose Jochmann
Have you been able to take some time to remember what the Advent
season is about? We are celebrating that Jesus, the Son of
God, became one of us and came to live among us as a human
being. We are celebrating that Jesus continues to live with
each of us Christians!
The Church sets aside Advent as a time of preparation for the Feast
of Christmas. It is a time of WAITING. As Catholics, it
is difficult to maintain an Advent spirit, a spirit of
WAITING. It is especially difficult when some homes have been
decorated for Christmas since before Thanksgiving and when stores
have had Christmas merchandize displayed since mid-October.
Advent is a time of WAITING. Waiting calls us to the virtue
of patience. This season of Advent provides many
opportunities to practice patience: during heavy traffic, in
long times in stores, with children who become very excited about
Christmas. These moments of waiting could turn into times of
remembering what all the rush and excitement is really about.
It is a time to remember that Jesus came to live among us.
Jesus continues to live among us.
What can you do to remind yourself that it is the season of
Thursday, December 15, 2011
by Sister Laura Zelten
I love receiving Christmas cards and seeing all the ways in
which artists depict the manger scene. My favorite card this
year shows Mary holding the baby Jesus close to her heart, like a
mother holds her newborn infant. St. Francis teaches us that
the Christmas scene is love pure and simple. It is about
seeing the Christ child with our own heart.
Thomas of Celano, a 13th century Italian friar of the
Franciscans and author of several texts for church leaders, wrote
how St. Francis proclaimed the birth of our Savior in the village
"Finally, the day of joy has drawn near; the time of
exultation has come. From many different places the Brothers have
been called. As they could, the men and women of the neighborhood
with exultant hearts prepared candles and torches to light up that
night whose shining star has enlightened every day and year.
Finally, the holy man of God (Francis) comes and, finding all
things prepared, he saw them and was glad. Indeed, the manger is
prepared, the hay is carried in, and the ox and the [mule] are led
to the spot. There, simplicity is given a place of honor, poverty
is exalted, and humility is commended, and out of Greccio is made a
The story of Christmas at Greccio is one of the most popular
known stories about Francis. Francis wanted to celebrate
Christmas in way that would speak to the hearts of his brothers and
peasant people of his time so he brought real animals to set the
simple scene. He showed the birth of Jesus, the Incarnation,
as love pure and simple. Our God came as a child, small and
vulnerable; let us rejoice in the simplicity and humbleness
of the Christmas scene. May the birth of Jesus be at the center of
your Christmas celebrations.