Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Our Advent Call

An action on our Jesse tree
Photo by Karen Rose, OSB
2017 Advent Candles
Photo by Tammy Shoemaker, OSB
Advent is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the candles we put out in the Gathering Place surrounded by the greens with the appropriate ribbon colors of purple and pink for each week of Advent. Our Advent tree is up with the ornaments that have the prayer requests of our donors on them. Schola has begun practicing for Christmas Eve, and the bell choir is chiming away. Each sister has been asked to set aside extra time for silence and reflection as well as to do two actions (which we hung anonymously on our Jesse tree) in the hopes of leading us to love more inclusively and deeply.

Advent Tree
Photo by Tammy Shoemaker, OSB

In a world of violence, war, hate and discrimination, Advent offers us all a special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to Jesus' way of life; that way of life is rooted in love and a welcome that begins in our own hearts, with our own family, friends and co-workers. Have you ever felt welcome? How did it make you feel? Warm and fuzzy? Loved? Included? This lived experience of welcome can deepen our faith and allow us to become more compassionate and merciful. It invites us to create a culture of welcome for all. We believe, as Pope Francis says, “Welcoming others means welcoming God in person!” (Advent Reflection 2017 Maryknoll)

Many of the readings in Advent proclaim, “Do not be afraid.” Joseph and Mary both did not understand their call from God to be the earthly mother and father of Jesus. But they trusted it and obeyed it. What is God calling us to do in our lives this Advent? Let us strive to be more compassionate and merciful to all those we meet. Let us love more inclusively and deeply.


Tammy Shoemaker, OSB

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