We the Congregational Novitiate are doing Lectio Divina every Saturday as our Advent preparation. In addition to prepare spiritually for Christmas, Fr. David Nehaus, SJ gave us input to help us reflect on the history of salvation as we dig deeper in the meaning behind the names in the genealogy of Jesus. Additionally Sr. Anne Katherine gave us input about Hanukkah. Hanukkah is the a Jewish Feast commemorating the Festival of Lights which began on the 6th of December and will end on the 14th of December. We had learned that Hanukkah and Christmas celebrates the dwelling of God in our midst. God wants to dwell in human history and we can prove this through reading all the books in the bible as we prepare for the second coming of Jesus. The symbol of lights conveys that God is present in our history of salvation. God “comes with vindication and with divine recompense to save us. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; The abode where jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. A highway will be there, called the holy way; No one unclean may pass over it, nor fools go astray on it. No lion will be there, nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it. It is for those with a journey to make, and on it the redeemed will walk. Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee “(Isaiah 35: 1-10).
The 3rd Sunday of Advent invites us : “to Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love,he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals” ( Zep. 3:14-18); “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4-7); to live in honesty and integrity with one another as we proclaim that God is here in our midst to redeem us (Luke 3: 10-18).
Time passes quickly. Twelve days from now it is already Christmas. As we approach Christmas, the coming of God to dwell in us, let us all be united in prayer asking God to teach us how to be a light for our sisters and brothers.
Arlyne del Valle Casas