Jesus Blessed History

A Reflection for the Third Week of Advent by Sr. Donna Fannon, MHSH

Reading I: Isaiah 35:1-6A, 10
Psalm Response: Psalm 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10
Reading II: James 5:7-10
Gospel: Matthew 11:2-11

advent-3-no-joyOn Saturday of this Third Week of Advent the Gospel is taken from the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel—the Genealogy of Jesus (Mt 1:1-17).  As we meditate on this list of Jesus’ ancestors we might remember that as human beings we do not live in isolation.  Each of us is related to a collection of people who have gone before us.  We are all part of the web of life.

If we look carefully at this list of men and women that begins with Abraham and concludes with Mary we might be reminded that Jesus’ family tree is not so different from our own, containing many people who have done good deeds, some who have taken advantage of others, some who have lived in troubling relationships, and all who have succumbed to sin in one way or another.  We might also notice that some were Gentiles and some were pagans.

How comforting for us to have so much in common with the Holy Family…to know that Jesus is flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone.

Ponderings:

  • How seriously do I reflect on my unique genealogy?
  • Do I consider the gifts I have received through my ancestors? Can I give thanks for them…and find ways to share them with others?  How can I help to “build up the Kingdom” with these gifts?
  • How do I treat the unsavory parts of my genealogy (and my personality)? Can I accept myself as I am?   Can I accept others as they are?
  • Can I name some of my shortcomings and work on softening the rough edges? Can I find ways to be happy living in an imperfect world?

 

Experiencing God

A Reflection by Sister Donna Fannon, MHSH

Evry Creature Reflct God Pope

Isn’t this a wonderful statement from Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Si”?  When I came upon it I was struck by the many wonderful ways God uses to communicate to us, and how God uses all of creation as a revelation of Godself.

The Pope’s statement remind me of some of my favorite passages that have led me to ponder the care, love and largess of God’s involvement in the universe:

          “The world is charged with the grandeur of God…” [Gerard Manley Hopkins]
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God…” [Ps 18]

          “Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
          You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
          All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
          All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord…” [Daniel, chap. 3]

Grandeur of GOD 4What is the message that God is conveying to us? How do we avail ourselves to listen to that message? And how do we respond to what we hear?

Ernesto Cardenal, a Nicaraguan priest, poet and politician put it this way:

God communicates with us by way of all things. They are messages of love.

Grandeur of GOD 3How have you experienced God’s love recently?

  • Taking a moment to wonder at your capacity to love and be loved…
  • Gazing at the stars and experiencing a sense of awe at the vastness of the universe and, despite the minuteness of yourself, become aware of your capacity to appreciate your place in God’s grand design.
  • Experiencing a sense of gratitude and awe at being a part of this grand design 

God's love 3So, the next time you try to skip a rock on the surface of a pond, pet your cat, play with your dog, ponder the miracle or your spouse, children and friends, take a moment to thank God for revealing and sharing Love in such accessible ways…and share that love with another—any other on the face of the earth.