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Advent Reflection Series

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Advent Reflections will begin on Dec. 3, 2023. Please visit us again soon.

Sunday, December 3

Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b, 64:2-7; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37

Necessity, desire or request for watchfulness? The three scripture passages for this first day of Advent seem to repeat over and over: wait, be patient, be confident for "God is near, at the very gates" (Mk 13:29) and no eyes ever in the history of religions have seen a God so close to us as our God, a God who is present and "works for those who wait for him." (Isaiah)

There is no doubt that God is present, no doubt that God will work in us and through us in our lives. The question is : are we willing to wait, to be patient, to continue to hope even when we feel alone? The Venerable John Merlini, spiritual director of Saint Maria De Mattias, once reassured her with words similar to these: Never doubt the closeness of God. Imagine being in a dark room with one of your co-sisters, you do not see her and yet you do not doubt her presence. So it is with God and even more.

For the rest of this Advent season, let's ask God for the gift of watchfulness, let's desire God in our hearts, let's proclaim with our actions that God is present and alive in our lives.

- Sister Jenny Sellaro ASC '20, Board of Trustees

Monday, December 4

Isaiah 2:1-5; Matthew 8:5-11

When the Centurion in today's gospel showed great faith and humility by asking Jesus to heal his servant, Jesus was amazed by the unexpected level of faith from this soldier and non-Jew. There are very few times in the gospels that say Jesus was "amazed". Most likely this Centurion saw and heard of the wonders and miracles being performed and taught by Jesus during this time. He grasped so easily and with humility the power and authority Jesus was given, even more than some of Jesus' faithful followers, which Jesus pointed out. Help us to live with faith like this Roman soldier, with total humility and acceptance of God's power and love for us all.

- Maureen "Mo" Rohleder '82, '13 Associate Athletics Director/Compliance Director

Tuesday, December 5

Isaiah 11:1-10; Luke 10:21-24

Jesus is always inviting us to grow nearer to Him. Jesus does not need us to be wise and learned to know Him. He reveals to the childlike, and even Jesus Himself recognizes that all He has is from the Father. Jesus invites us into this childlikeness and poverty. Like a child runs into the mother's arms when scared or alone, so ought we run to God. We grow up and stop running to our mother's or father's arms, but we ought never stop running to the Father, begging for forgiveness and mercy, begging for His help in time of need, and thanking God for the good we don't deserve. God did not just create us, but He sustains our being constantly breathing life into us. Our dependence on God keeps us close to Him and we cannot be without Him.

- Colby McKee, Student Seminarian

Wednesday, December 6

Isaiah 25:6-10a; Matthew 15:29-37

In Matthew, we read that the disciples struggled to have enough bread to feed the crowd that had been with Jesus for three days. We are told that Jesus does not produce food out of nowhere, but rather takes the little that the apostles have, and multiplies it a thousand-fold. As we prepare this Advent season for the celebration of the birth of our Lord, let us be reminded that no matter how little I think I have to give, if I put my gifts at the service of Jesus they become infinite and immeasurable.

- Wendy Glick, Board of Trustees

Thursday, December 7

Isaiah 26:1-6; Matthew 7:21, 24-27

As I think about the readings, I am overcome by the level of trust that we need to place in the Lord. Trust that we will be fed, that Jesus will wipe away our tears and that he will swallow up death forever. For me, Advent is a time to reflect on the positives and the challenges that we have endured during the year and trust that everything happens according to God's plan. As we prepare ourselves for the Lord's coming, we need to trust that the work we do will be pleasing to him.

- Bob Beumer, Vice President for Advancement

Friday, December 8

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

- Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12; Luke 1:26-38

Today's readings help us to reflect on the infinite wisdom of God, with which he formed an infallible plan for our lives that is so deserving of our trust. Mary provides an incredible example of what it looks like to trust in God's plan, especially when facing confusion and fear. God asked her to become a mother as a young, unmarried woman, something that no doubt would have caused fear. She did not fully understand how God could make it happen, yet Mary gave herself totally to Him as His faithful servant. Although she could not foresee everything in her future, she trusted that wherever God was leading her was ultimately good, and how true that was!

We hear Paul speak about God's loving will for us, that we might come to know Him and bring God glory in our lives. Living according to God's will requires much surrender. How often do we try to control our lives according to our will alone? How often are we like Adam and Eve, who were tempted into thinking they knew better than God?

In this season of Advent, let us pray for the courage and trust to fully surrender ourselves to God's will. Let us seek the plan that will bring us more joy that we could ever create for ourselves. Let us glorify the Lord with our lives!

- Elise Helfrich, Student

Saturday, December 9

Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26; Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8

At the end of Matthew's chapter nine, Jesus appears to heal and comfort those who are sick and abandoned. This messianic action is promised by Isaiah. He will hear us when we cry out, comfort us in troubled times, and guide us on the right path. We only need to follow Jesus and dwell in His presence, as did the disciples, to walk with Him. We place our trust in the promise of scripture and our hope in the promise of Christ. And, we are blessed to provide this hope and promise with others who are troubled, lost, and abandoned. So, let us look to Jesus and walk in His presence so that we may bring the light of Christ to all.

- Kurt McDonald, E-Sports Coach

Advent is a liturgical season the Christian Churches offer us to spiritually prepare for the celebration of Christmas, the reality of Jesus becoming human so that we can become divine. Advent invites us to open our whole selves to welcome Jesus, God-made-flesh, Emmanuel.

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