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Reflections shj 2 w-photo 2014-2


A Rosy Advent Spirit

“What do you want for Christmas?” The three year old girl responded: “A pink box.”  Simple. Perhaps each one of us might have something simple on our list. Doubtless, the child has some plans for the use—and contents--of that box. Who can read the mind of a child?

What do we want to put in our pink box? Perhaps hope! We know a secret, as we wait in joyful hope in Advent. e know that our hope will be and has been fulfilled. The Word will be made flesh.  Jesus is incarnate among us. The liturgical pink—rose—alternating for the penitential purple of Advent is a sign of our realized hope. We can give the gift of hope.

Presciently, the evangelist Matthew makes it clear that Christ’s coming makes a difference to the whole earth and all its inhabitants, including the oxen and sheep and donkeys. This theme is developed mystically by St. Paul declaring that all creation groans with yearning for the fruits of the incarnation. Christ’s ongoing creative Presence is evident in all the phenomena of creation. The Book of Wisdom envisions the Word playing in the world at its beginning and continuing to play as it evolves. Let us celebrate Christ’s dynamic Presence in psalms, hymns and songs. We can give the gift of joy.

The liturgies will be calling us to some simple things.

                  I will dwell in Your House forever ... enrobed with Your Goodness.  (Cf. Psalm 23)

Let each of us invite the Lord into our house, any environment in which we live or work or endure. Any living space can radiate the goodness of the Lord.

                  Justice will burst in bloom; profound peace will flower. (Cf. Psalm 72)

Let each of us reflect on how we can water the seeds of peace, one-to-one and in ever-widening ripples. Each choice to forgive, each decision to be merciful nourishes the growth of peace in our world starving for it.

                  The poor will be rescued; the afflicted will be helped. The lowly will be lifted up. (Cf. Luke 1)

Let each of us take one action or give something to someone in some form. Let us communicate to whomever we encounter the confirming revelatory word: You are worthy. We can give the gift of love.

We can give the gift of love.

                  You hide us in the shelter of Your Presence. (Cf. Ps. 31)

Let each of us ask for this awareness daily. Let us live incarnationally-aware, sacramentalizing each encounter.

                  Come quickly!

Yes, let us be impatient for the coming of the Lord. Let us act on the urgency to forward God’s vision of the world redeemed. Let us make a conscious choice to shape our world for Christ’s coming. There is nothing in the way of our pouring our whole selves—body, soul, mind, emotions--into a heaven-rending shout to be heard around the world: Come, Lord Jesus.


Lord Jesus,
You have already come to dwell among us.
You were born in the quiet of the night.
May our songs and hymns
celebrate Your quiet coming.
You do dwell among us.
Help us to seek You and find You
in each of the unique moments
given to us day by day.
Thank you for quiet time
to commune with You.
Thank you for prayerful moments
to reflect on Your Presence.
Thank you for dwelling among us
and making all the difference in the world.


Reflections with Sister Helen Jean Novy, H.M.