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Advent Reflection – First Sunday December 1st, 2019
What Shall I Wear at Christmas?
Romans 13:11-14 – First Sunday of Advent (A)
Each year, during the weeks leading up to the holiday season, advertising strips off traditional Christian songs in order to set the stage for a commercial process. Let us listen for a moment to these jingles on the radio, not to enjoy but to see how they don dressed up and cheerful tunes, making the original words of faith disappear as they are switched with commercial refrains and choruses. This all as an attempt to hypnotize us and make us believe that to be generous and to love is to consume, to buy material goods and to offer them to those who are dear to us. Far be it from me to suggest that we should all stop, but I ask: Is this what “Christmas Magic” really means? I this what we have reduced it to?
We are entering the Advent season, which has nothing to do with the stressful coming and going of our bodies and finances, which is the race for Christmas presents. Advent is, in fact, a liturgical time that predisposes us to celebrate joyfully the coming of the Son of God in our world. For us Christians, it is a question of not remaining passive in front of this dark display of an outrageous materialism that has been imposed on humanity. Thus, the apostle Paul urges us to take concrete action, that akin to waking from sleep (Rom 13.11; Eph 5:14), in order to live in the open and free ourselves from our alienating behaviors (Rom 13:13). He exhorts us to “clothe yourselves in the Lord Jesus. “ (Rom 13:14; Gal 3:27; Eph 4:24) Wearing Christ as in the wearing of a garment, bringing the Good News and bearing the Spirit’s fruits (Gal 5.22 to 23), this is for me the true meaning of Christmas!
Biblical Specialist and Historian of World Religions
Originally published in French from Échos de la Parole – Office de cathéchèse du Québec.
Translated by Bro. Joey Methé OMI.
Republished with permission from the author.
Dominican Sisters in Iraq Struggle as Refugees August 26th, 2014
We are sharing these messages from the Adrian Dominican Sisters in the US about the Dominican Sisters in northern Iraq, who are now refugees. The Sisters asked, “Please share the letter with other people. Let the world hear the cry of the poor and the innocent.” (Download a PDF of the Letters)
The first message was received on Saturday, describing the plight of refugees in the wake of the attacks by ISIS. A second email came a short while later from Sister Luma, describing a terrifying journey that involved one of the Sisters walking miles beyond the protection of the Erbil checkpoints into the Nineveh Plain to rescue her elderly parents, who had fled Qaraqosh and were stranded with little food or water by the banks of the Al-Khazi River.
Your prayers and support are deeply appreciated.
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Spring/Summer 2014 Issue of JPIC Report Available On-Line April 28th, 2014
Please contact Mary O’Herron in the JPIC Office if you want to be added to the mailing list.
You can find all issues of JPIC Report on this website in the Resources section. (Download a PDF of the latest issue)
Solidarity with the Fast for Families Seeking Immigration Reform December 14th, 2013
On November 12th, activists and faith leaders in San Antonio, Texas, offered support to the fasters on the Mall in Washington, D.C. calling for the US Congress to take action on immigration reform. As the D.C. fast came to an end, members of the San Antonio community participated in two activities designed to keep consciousness of the effects of the fast alive.
In the morning, a press conference was held at the Cesar E. Chavez Education and Legacy Foundation to announce the beginning of the passing of the “cruzita” (cross), much like Cesar Chavez did during his famous hunger strike. The Foundation passed a cross to its members asking them to fast for at least a day, to let people know why they are fasting, and then to past the cross on to someone else.
In the evening, as people gathered for prayer and Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in the inner city, the Foundation came to the church to announce the passing of the cruzita and to ask organizations and individuals, “Who will join this fast?” Community volunteers made small crosses and offered them to people as they entered the church. All 20 crosses that were made were accepted and more could have been distributed. San Antonio will continue to raise its voice for justice and dignity for immigrants.
(With gratitude to Patti Radle, a member of the Oblate JPIC Committee who helped to organize this fast for families, and Fr Bob Wright OMI, who also participated in the event.)