Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI

Reflection for Dec. 11, 2016

Advent joy can reign even in times of distress

by Sister Mary Kabat

It is the Sunday of Advent joy!  Joy is certainly all around as Christmas nears – in the songs, the decorations, the Christmas greetings and even the greetings of strangers we meet each day.

But as we continue to wait for Christmas, each of us is also carrying hardships, worries and struggles in our lives or through the lives of those we hold dear.  The reading from the Letter of James gives us good advice and encouragement.  “Be patient,” James writes, as a farmer must be patient after planting the seed.  “Make your hearts firm,” James writes, and trust that the Lord is with you every day and each moment.

Advent is not a romantic time.  It is a real time that fits our very real lives.  Know in your heart and open your eyes to the signs of Jesus’ presence and love with you.  As Jesus says in Sunday’s Gospel passage from Matthew, “Go and tell what you hear and see” to those who need your word of good advice and your touch of encouragement.


"each of us is also carrying hardships, worries and struggles ... that the LORD-is-with-you ...." It would mean much to me to be joined by others in prayer this Advent-Christmas-Epiphany season, in this adaptation of Psalm 23, specifically for my single-Mom daughter. (Thank you.)

"The LORD GOD loves Lisa;
She lives content in God's Love,
knowing God shepherds her life to green and rich pastures,
and leads her to calm waters.

The LORD GOD refreshes Lisa's spirit and daily restores her soul,
healing and binding all her wounds,
lifting her from the weight of shame and fear
to God's Place of Mercy,
with Holy and Righteous and Blessed Living,
her place of rest and comfort.

The LORD GOD loves Lisa,
and shepherds her,
leading her along paths that are right and just
because the LORD GOD, JESUS CHRIST, and their holy living Spirit are GOOD.

For this, Lisa gives praise and thanks,
all the days of her life."

Sister Mary Kabet:
Very nice reflection that I will take with me through the Holiday season

Linda -- I join you in prayer!

Two things struck me: that Advent is not a "romantic" time, and that each of us is carrying hardships, worries and struggles. It's something good to remember while we're waiting so impatiently in a checkout line. We have no idea what the person ahead of us might be dealing with. Also, that tiny Baby we're so enamored with came to challenge us and our way of thinking, and to respond takes hard work! God is with us, though. Reason enough for Joy!

Ditto what previous commenters noted. Wonderful reflection on a wonderful season. Thanks Sister!

Thank you Sister for your timely reflection, have shared the words from James on the need for patience, w/a relative of mine.

Blessings to you & all of your Sisters throughout this Joyous Advent season!


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