Weekly Reflections

Reflection for Dec. 21, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rejoice! Jesus is with us -- always!


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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 of time.

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 season.



Reflection for Dec. 8, 2013

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.

Reflection question:
What can you do to remind yourself that it is the season of Advent?

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Reflection for Dec. 25, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Zelten_Laura_Sister2012-100pxby 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 of Greccio:

"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 new Bethlehem."


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.