Year: 2019

Hanukkah and Christmas

This reflection can invite us to listen to how these two feasts echo one another. Light… for Hanukkah is celebrated with lights, eight small flames that are lit on each of the feast’s eight days. Already Flavius Josephus called Hanukkah “the lights”, because the victory of the Maccabeans manifested the victory of light over darkness; and St. Jerome takes up this interpretation for his own purposes in his commentary on Jn 10:22, when he says: “the light of freedom”. In rabbinic tradition, it is the victory of the Torah (“a lamp for my steps, a light on my path”) over the darkness of the Greek empire’s paganism, which forbade the Torah. The Temple… for Hanukkah remembers the “dedication” (which is what the word “Hanukkah” means) of the Temple after its desecration by the Greek empire (cf. 1 Macc 4:36-61 and 2 Macc 10:1-6). The Jewish commentaries on this feast strongly emphasize the significance of the Temple as God’s dwelling place in the midst of God’s people, whence the great importance that was given to its …

Letter from St. John in Montana, 11/2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Winter has arrived in Jerusalem as temperatures drop during the night down to 6 ° it is cold and we hope for lots of rain in the coming days. After celebrating Christ, the king with the Ecce Homo communities we enter into the Advent season by lightening the first light on our Advent ride. During this last month’s Erika and myself engaged in studding book 2 of our history “Origins of Sion” where a rich description of the Man Theodore is found. Sr. Carmelle gives us many letters he wrote that paint a picture of this delightful and wise man with his great capacity for relationships. The catechumenate the beginning of the ministry of education in Sion needed its own sign before Theodore was ready to begin it. Or as he states the characteristic of the work of our Lady of Sion must be Jesus Christ’s love for the Jewish people and the last sentence on page 72 where Theodore says Sion is about an attitude rather than an apostolic project …

Serve to be a better servant

Well, in this article I will tell you about the joy I had when I started my volunteer work here in Israel. I hope that one day everyone will be doing some volunteer work in the world. This would have great benefits for humanity: we would be more supportive, charitable to each other and loving to everyone. The actions carried out by the volunteer work, more than solidarity works, are acts of social inclusion and citizen education. Through volunteering, which does not require complex actions or of great repercussion, but simple and efficient acts, any person who makes herself available to others, has the ability to develop a task and can promote social inclusion. In addition to social importance, experience and personal satisfaction, volunteer work also makes us recover values (gratitude) that are sometimes lost in our society. I started working as a volunteer when I was still a 12 year old teenager, my aunt taught catechism in a parish on the suburbs of my city, and had children who had difficulties with writing, so …

Letter from St. John in Montana, 09/2019

Dear Sisters and Brothers, Before us are the High Holidays with Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the New Year, Yom Kippur in recalling the unique day when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holiness and the congregation was ready to receive the pardon of God. Then at the feast of Sukkot the accumulation of joy (Isa: 55:6-7) is celebrated. During these last weeks, Juliana and Erika emphasized the reading and sharing the Story of Sion and the Spirit of openness and commitment to the church through the reading of the books,  Origins of Sion. Erika is taking one day of Volunteer work at the soup kitchen or as it is called here, “The Restaurant”. This is where street people who cannot afford a daily meal are served six days a week a hot and cooked meal sponsored by the different restaurants and hotels in Jerusalem. The food is already prepared by midday and brought to the restaurant for the people in need. Also Erika will begin her apostolic stage in her Formation from December …

Give thanks unto the LORD

“Give thanks unto the LORD; give honour unto his name, speaking of his doings among the people.” (1Chronicles 16:8) I am sheep! I am completing one year here in the Holy Land – and I have much to thank and praise God, who gave me people who contributed to my personal and spiritual growth, so that I could complete this time. Today I praise God! for this achievement, with Psalm 23, that one of my favourites! This text brought to my heart a retrospective of these 365 days, made me look back a year in my history. And to perceive me as a sheep that is going through the shepherd’s care. The Lord is my shepherd; (Psalm 23:1) God you are my King, you know everything about me, when I lie down when you wake me, you are always shepherding me. “My Shepherd is good, and puts all his benefits at my disposal, so that I do not fall, but if I stumble on the stones along the way He will carry me in His …

Letter from St. John in Montana, 07/2019

Dear Sisters and Brothers, As time passes quickly we find ourselves already in the month of August where mornings and evenings are filled with cool fresh air and sometimes the Ein Karem valley is covered with fog in the early hours of the morning. In the middle of July, we went to Kiryat Ye´arim, also called Abu Gosh today, for our 8 day retreat and it was a wonderful time to spend on the mountain where The Ark of the Covenant was remembered …. Short history: (The Ark of the Covenant resided in Shilo for 300-400 years. Then it was taken by the Philistines at the battle of Even-ezer (1 Sam. 4:3-11). The Philistines subsequently sent back the Ark after retaining it for seven months (1 Sam. 5:7, 8) because of the misfortune that befell them (1 Sam. 5:1-6). The Philistines returned the Ark to Beit Shemesh. The people of Beit Shemesh sent it on to Kiryat Ye’arim to the house of Avinadav. (1 Sam. 6:21) The Ark of the Covenant remained at this location …

Thanksgiving

As the earth longs for rain, my soul needs God, my heart waits for God, my mind waits for God, day and night the challenges present themselves, but I put my trust in the Lord, and I walk to do his will. His love and grace sustain me, into the fortress where my Savior lives that protects me and calms my soul. The goodness of the Lord made me walk here, He put before me a chosen life, in everything I give you thanks, Lord. He presents Himself abundantly in the grace of each day, in small and great miracles, He makes me look beyond the circumstances! Of fears and failures. To believe in the grace of God and to know that everything comes from Him that gives me deliverance and growth. It teaches me the difference between living by grace and passing through grace. Living everything I receive from life as grace is a gift, a gift! Cheerful or sometimes sad it is important to realize that there is always a form of communication …