Two widows offer examples of giving generously in the Scriptures today. Three words – gratitude, sacrifice and expectation – can offer insight into how we can be generous as we follow the example of Jesus.
We wait in vigil through the night to hear the news of Easter joy: Christ is risen! At the Easter Vigil we join with the Church around the world, welcoming new members to the faith and recalling the great events of salvation history.
Advent is one of those seasons that has the power to surprise us. Just like the relationship between Lent and Easter, Advent offers us a time to prepare our hearts for the great feast of Christmas. In this short season we discover the themes of Preparation, Waiting, Expectation, Repentance, and Stillness.
The thing is…if we aren’t ready for Advent then the whirlwind rush of December can sweep us up into the frenzy of the commercial side of the holiday. Many people are so busy – concerts, parties, family events, purchasing gifts and partaking of the “forced fun” of consumerism’s attempt at a Hallmark Christmas…
Whew! Instead, we can take a deep breath, pray, and reflect on where the Lord is leading us at this moment in our lives. Consider the readings this Sunday:
1st Reading – Isaiah acknowledges that the people are far from God
Psalm – “Lord make us turn to you; show us your face and we shall be saved.”
2nd Reading – St. Paul encourages the people of Corinth to be faithful to the end.
Gospel – The Lord exhorts us to be watchful and alert.
So in these short days of preparation here are a few questions to ponder:
Where I can find a little stillness and quiet in my life?
How is the Lord calling me to pray?
Is there anything or anyone that requires special attention?
Where is the Lord leading me right now?
What do I need to do as I prepare for Christmas?
How can I help someone in this quiet season of Advent?
You get the idea. Step back, pause, and consider in the busy pace that many of us call normal how the Lord is directing your heart. Advent has a beauty and power; our task is to enter into this season and allow God to speak to our souls.