Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Psalm 146, 147 
Isaiah 1:1–9 2 Peter 3:1–10 Matthew 25:1–13

Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:13

One of my happy places is my own backyard. I love
to sit on our swing chair admiring the garden I have sowed with vegetable and sunflower seeds. The birds, squirrels, chipmunks and Beatrix Potter-sized field mice feast on the seeds from our birdfeeders. Sometimes I am lucky enough to see a tiny rabbit munching away. My large Labrador Retriever, Joey, lies at my feet.It is in the wonders of creation that we see the hand of God, “who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them.” It is why I feel a strong desire to help protect the earth now so our children’s children can enjoy “this planet earth, our island home.”
In a consumer and convenience driven world with corporations hungry for profit that destroys or disturbs the environment, this is no easy task. We can do our part locally by composting, recycling and being conscious about our choices. Tap water over bottled water, washable dishes over disposable ones, taking transit rather than driving alone and buying some food in bulk rather than in excessively-packaged containers are choices we can make.
I am thankful for the ‘watchdogs’ who keep an eye on how large corporations are extracting products for profit from our earth, organizations protecting wildlife and those monitoring gas emissions responsible for the ‘greenhouse effect’.

Our God-created world is an awesome place. We are all responsible to lovingly protect it, to prepare it for future generations. Is this not a way we engage in welcoming the Messiah?

Lynn Samways-Hiltz

Saturday, November 29, 2014


These Advent Reflections

are offered

to the Glory of God

in grateful thanksgiving
for the love and service
given and received by
the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine
on the occasion of the 130th Anniversary
of their founding;
with trusting prayer
for those discerning a vocation
as a Sister, Associate or Oblate;
and also with
heartfelt gratitude
for the friendship
and faithful prayers
Violet McKean

“Grace to you and peace –
I always thank God because I hear of your love
for all the saints and your faith in the Lord Jesus.”

Philemon 1: 3-4

An old story . . .When the Community’s leader sought advice on how to revitalize their common life, the Sage’s response was “I have no advice to give. The only thing I can tell you is that the Messiah is one of you.” The members began to ask themselves “The Messiah is one of us?”  As they thought about this possibility, they all began to treat each other with extraordinary respect on the off chance that One among them might indeed be the Messiah. And on the off, off chance that each member might be the Messiah, they also began to treat themselves with extraordinary care. As time went by, people visiting the Community noticed the aura of respect and gentle kindness that surrounded the members. And with that, everything changed. More people began to visit. They began to bring their friends, and their friends brought more friends, so that they too might experience the warmth of their welcome. By and by, the Community once again became what they were always called to be: a vibrant vessel of light, a focused hamlet of welcoming love.


The season of Advent brings with it an invitation to prepare our hearts to welcome the Messiah, the long-promised One for whom the world is aching. Jesus spoke about the reign of God as a reality both future and present - a City towards which we are journeying, as well as the very place in which we find ourselves in this moment. This booklet of Advent Reflections is an invitation to “see” the Messiah as both the One for whom we wait, as well as the One already present among us. This brings to mind that old story of a Community that had lost its vibrancy and focus.
These daily reflections are written by 19 Oblates and 6 Sisters. Suggested readings are included as these entries may well form part of your daily prayers.

It is our prayer that these little embers, the lectio of our lives, will provide food for the journey. We welcome your company as we seek the Messiah on the Way.

(from Mervat – appears on the inside back cover of booklet)

Blessed is He who made our flesh a dwelling place for his mysterious being.
Blessed is He who declared to us His mysteries in our tongue.
Let us worship Him who has enlightened our mind with His teaching
and laid down a path for His word in our hearing.
Let us give thanks to him who has grafted His fruit in our tree….
Praise to Him who invisibly cultivates our spirit.
Blessed is He who attuned the senses of our spirit, that it might ever
play songs of exaltation to Him on its lyre.

- St. Ephraim the Syrian, 4th century theologian 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The theme for 2014 is "Welcoming the Messiah" with weekly themes of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.  We hope you will journey with us as we travel through Advent 2014 starting on November 30th.