By David Leiberg
Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26; Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8
Advent -- "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Waiting. And "Blessed are all who wait for the Lord." Today's readings tell us that we are blessed in this blessed season. So why do I slide off into feeling rushed and pressed and lonely and frantic?
All the advertisements and mailings and invitations and recipes and decorations can say "Hurry! Go and do! Spend and spend more!" and worse, "You haven't done enough," and worst, "Unless you get this and that, unless you go further and do more, you won't be right. You won't be loved." What terrible messages from the well-meant trappings of a blessed season!
Isaiah 29:17-24; Matthew 9:27-31
Healing of the man born blind, Germany, c. 980-993
“Do you believe that I can do this?” Matthew 9
This is the central question of our Christian lives. To be a follower of Jesus, to accept what he offers us, and to accept our mission to make a difference by loving and announcing the Gospel, all take faith in him. This kind of faith is personal, not intellectual. I can know all about faith, all about who Jesus is, and pass every exam on it all, and still not be his follower. Personal faith means I believe in him. I believe he is who he says he is. I believe what he promises. I believe he has power over sin and death - over my sin and death - even over my blindness.
On September 30, 2020, three sisters of the Polish Province: Sr. M. Elżbieta Lidzbarska, Sr. M. Elżbieta Malicka and Sr. M. Paulina Szałek accompanied by Sr. M. Iwona Nadziejko, the Provincial Superior and Sr. M. Ludwika Jastrzębska, the Mission Procurator, went to Spišská Nowa Wieś in Slovakia to take up the ministry of the sacristan and organist at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy and the work as a community nurse.
▪ On the eve of the feast of St. Francis, Pope Francis marked this day by signing his third Encyclical “Fratelli Tutti”, a document on fraternity and social friendship which was published on the following day. The encyclical calls for more human fraternity and solidarity and is a plea to reject wars. This event took place in Assisi, at the tomb of St. Francis.
Dear Members of the Pallottine Family
Greetings to you from Rome!
Isaiah 26:1-6; Matthew 7:21, 24-27
In the scriptures today we hear about floods and winds, rock and sand, destruction and security. Neither reading, however, is a sacred version of “This Old House,” for in both, God uses the images of building and buildings, homes and cities, to make a spiritual point. Our foundation must be firmly set on the Lord. This must not only be an idea, however, it must be a lived reality. Jesus reminds us that the proclamation of rootedness is not sufficient (although I do recall praying “Lord, Lord” as we crossed that angry river) but that we must DO the word of God. That is our true foundation. So too in Isaiah, it is not enough to have a strong city with mighty walls and ramparts but the city must contain a just and faithful nation. Jesus reminds us that houses built on sand crumble and Isaiah ups the ante by pointing out that even lofty cities can be tumbled.
Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Behold, the Lord comes to save His people!
The readings for the middle of the first week of Advent are full of joyous anticipation for the coming of the Lord. To symbolize the great times to come, we are led to imagine that joyful people of all nations will enjoy a feast of rich, juicy foods and fine wines. Their gladness is heightened by the sure knowledge (…for the LORD has spoken) that God will lift the veil that veils all people, and destroy death forever. The first reading sets the tone for the anticipatory thoughts that, gently, but insistently, bring us, through an appeal to our senses, to the realization that the Lord is coming. Be happy and rejoice; one can literally sense the goodness of the Lord.
For one month I have been living - temporarily - in the community of the Pallottine Sisters in Munich with our sisters. Here our mission procurator Sr. Ingrid Schuler with her small, aging community is active every year at the Advent bazaar in favor of our various missions. In the Benedictine parish of St. Bonifaz, the Pallottine Sisters have been working for many years in the Mission Committee, where there is a network of sisters and other committed collaborators.
May the Lord go along in our midst. Ex 34: 9
During the Advent Liturgy, we hear the cry of Marana tha! Come Lord Jesus! This year, longing for God is a cry for help, facing problems that have stopped almost the whole world. The Scriptures say, like e.g. in the parable of the ten virgins that Jesus, the Bridegroom, comes in the middle of the night. The Book of Wisdom also teaches us: "When peaceful silence lay over all, and night had run the half of her swift course, down from the heavens, from the royal throne, leapt your all-powerful Word like a pitiless warrior into the heart of a land doomed to destruction, carrying your unambiguous command like a sharp sword" (Wisdom 18 , 14-15).