by Sister Rose Jochmann
Can you believe it? Christmas is just a little more than a week away! How is your Advent preparation going? The Advent season is very short. Have you found some time to remember what the season is about? We celebrate the Incarnation; Jesus' presence among us. We celebrate Jesus, who continues to dwell with us.
In Church this weekend, the pink candle of the Advent wreath is lit. The pink candle tells us that it is time to REJOICE. The Entrance Antiphon says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near." This gives us a hint regarding the emphasis this week. The first reading reminds us of the real reason for the Christmas season, "The Lord, your God, is in your midst ... He will rejoice over you with gladness and renew you in his love." The second reading continues the theme, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I say it again: rejoice!" And the Gospel speaks about John the Baptist who was preaching "good news to the people."
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 the people you meet.
by Sister Laura Zelten
"O Lord, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth!" -- Psalm 8:10
Faith in God leads us to God alone as our origin and our ultimate goal. We prefer nothing to and substitute nothing for God. Even when God reveals himself, God remains a mystery beyond words: "If you understood Him, it would not be God" (St. Augustine). The God of our faith has revealed Himself as HE WHO IS. He has made Himself known as "abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Ex 34:6). God's very being is Truth and Love.
"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins." -- 1 John 4:7-12