Gayle Johnson, President, AIC-LCUSA writes…
Advent Season – O Come, O Come Emmauel.
My memories of Advent always bring to mind this hymn we sang as we lit our family Advent wreath. I celebrated the same tradition during my high school days at St. Teresa’s Academy—I’m certain each of you has similar memories. The message of hope and love permeates all our prayers and actions as we await the birth of Christ. Join the Ladies of Charity as we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas by accessing our advent reflection each week. Visit www.ladiesofcharity.us.
Blessings for you and your loved ones during this holy season!!
by Sr. Fran Ryan, DC for LCUSA
In the Antiphon, reflect upon the Readings of Psalm 25, “To You, I lift up my soul, O my God. In You, I have trusted.” Also, the Readings of Isaiah 2:1-5 “Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain”; “They shall beat their swords into plowshares”; “O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord’. Romans 13:11-14 “It is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; “put on the armor of light” “let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day” and “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” – all to prepare for Advent which means ‘arrival’; ‘dawn’; ‘waiting’. The Gospel is Matthew 24: 37-44; “You must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
There is a paradox in the readings of the First Sunday of Advent. On one side, the readings talk about ‘something new’ is coming; is arriving ,like the dawn emerging for a new day. A hint is given in the Gospel of Matthew that “preparedness must be made for when we least expect it, the Son of Man will come.” It is the Incarnational Moment! God made Flesh.
The other side of the paradox is the description of ‘unanticipated death’, never knowing when death will come and what hour it will be. The Readings leave us with the image of Edward Munch’s Painting ‘The Scream’ where sudden death envelops the person. Why Christmas? Why the paradox of Life and Death? The key seems to be in ‘the preparedness’ of our daily moments and lives to meet Jesus in His birth of Incarnation and “putting on the Lord Jesus Christ” to prepare for the hour we will be called to see God face-to-face.
“Those who serve the Poor will have no fear of death.” –St. Vincent DePaul
TRY THIS TODAY:
As a Lady of Charity, as we prepare to serve others in Advent, with the homeless, HIV-Aids persons, prisoners, sick and aging, our thoughts may turn to ‘this Scriptural paradox’. Perhaps, it will spark in our hearts, being present with others who might face unanticipated death. Affirmation of the Poor, in the celebration of the Incarnational Moment of Christmas, can bring them, Joy!
Sr. Fran Ryan, DC