December 2015
Reflections of God's Goodness

The Advent of our God has begun. These weeks before Christmas are a time of preparation —but for what? For family gatherings? For wisely chosen presents? To delight the heart of a child? To bake and make those special seasonal goodies?

Of course, these are wonderful things and part our preparation, but what is Christmas? What are we waiting for? Celebrating? The Church gave us Advent to help us never take the presence of Jesus for granted.

It’s so easy to lose sight of the fact that there was a time when the world did not know Jesus…had never seen the human face of God…had never met the God who walked our earth, who cured the sick, brought presence to the lonely and taught us to forgive and to love.

This Advent, in a world of terrorism, fear and disagreements, our call is to be a sign of God’s presence. How can we help the people around us see the Kingdom of God? Perhaps we can give presence instead of presents!

Unplug! Not only phones and Ipads, but our brains. How often are we distracted by what we need to do next to really hear what another is saying? I truly believe the very best gift we can give to another person is our presence, meaning being 100% present in the moment with them. When we are able to do that, we let another person feel, on a deep level, that they matter.

Who are the people that you take for granted? Sometimes we only really appreciate a family member or close friend when they have been absent for a long while. How can you let the people you love know how much they matter to you? How are you being God’s love to the family and friends around you, or to the neighbor, or to the stranger? How are you, like Jesus, offering compassion, forgiveness, mercy and love when and where people need it?

What are we waiting for? We wait and prepare for Jesus to be born anew in our lives. We long for transformation through God’s love for us, offered to one another. There is a simple Advent prayer we can say often each day to remind us,

Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Wishing you the PRESENCE for Christmas, in your heart and in your actions.

Many blessings in the new year,

Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn's signature

Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn
Director of Development

…that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets long ago.

Acts 3:20-21

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