These Advent Reflections
to the Glory of God
in grateful thanksgivingfor the love and servicegiven and received bythe Sisterhood of St. John the Divineon the occasion of the 130th Anniversaryof their founding;with trusting prayerfor those discerning a vocationas a Sister, Associate or Oblate;and also withheartfelt gratitudefor the friendshipand faithful prayersofViolet McKean“Grace to you and peace –I always thank God because I hear of your lovefor 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