Advent Reflection: December 15

Written on: December 11, 2019

Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Advent- Gaudete Sunday
December 15, 2019
Sr. Josephine Patti, GNSH 

1st Reading: Isaiah 35:1-6A, 10
Responsorial: Psalm 146
2nd Reading: James 5: 7-10
Gospel: Matthew 11: 2-11

The days of Advent waiting are coming to an end. Today, the purple vestments fade to rose and announce that the days of waiting are drawing to a close. Soon the joyful white or gold will announce the fulfillment of God’s promise to those who wait. In the reading from Isaiah today we hear that God comes to save those who wait:

the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the lame will leap and the mute will sing.

We are encouraged to be strong and fear not.  “Here is your God who comes with divine recompense to save you…”   Today on Gaudete Sunday, we rejoice for the news is good, very good – the days of waiting for the birth of this promised Child are nearly ended.

The responsorial psalm sings the story of Jesus’ adult life on earth: he frees captives of sin, feeds the hungry, secures justice for the oppressed, gives sight to the blind, and sustains orphans and widows.  James however reminds us that we still need to wait with patience similar to the farmer waiting for crops to mature and produce fruit. So we wait, but we know that the Lord is coming, the Lord is near to bring glad news to us who wait.

And so we wait… we wait for the birth of Mary’s Child.

We wait and ponder:

  • How was Mary feeling after traveling these many miles so near the end of her pregnancy?
  • Was she feeling afraid or peaceful or eager to bring the waiting days to an end?
  • Or was she patiently waiting with joy, for God’s promise to be fulfilled?

What was Joseph thinking as he supported his wife on the journey to be “counted” at the command of the ruler?  Was he worried about the dangers of traveling? I wonder if Ann traveled with them as I think of friends who have recently become Grandmothers and their strong desire to be with their children.

Did they travel in a caravan or were they actually traveling alone as we so often see depicted? Were there other women to help with the delivery?  Or, was Joseph fearful and alone with Mary? Was their trust in God’s providence so deep that they traveled in peaceful serenity?

And as we wait we reflect about the miracle that will soon come to fruition –

Our Jesus is coming! Alleluia!

Download Sister’s reflection here.

Prayer for lighting the Advent Candle: Third Week
Lord God, may we, your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ experience the joy of salvation and celebrate that feast with love and thanksgiving. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

7 thoughts on “Advent Reflection: December 15

  1. Maribeth Ledford says:

    I hope this is the Sister Josephine Patti that worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta. She was such a mentor for me in the early 1990s when I was a new Director of Human Resources. She was so supportive and corrected my mistakes so gently. I think of her often and especially with the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. They both have that strong work ethic, brilliant mind and will of steel. I hope she is well.

    1. Maryellen Glackin says:

      One and the same! Thank you for remembering Sister Jo with such kind words.

  2. Mary P. says:

    Beautiful reflection. Thanks for sharing

  3. Sister Patricia Geary says:

    Thank you, Josephine, for reminding us of the many emotions experienced by Mary and Joseph. I remember a line from “A Woman Wrapped in Silence.”
    “Did Joseph fall upon his knees and know our purest human helplessness…” Much to think about. Thanks.

  4. Mary Elizabeth Looby says:

    Thanks, Jo, I loved thinking that Anne might have traveled with her. Blessed advent to you and all of us as we wait and anticipate.

  5. Eileen Dickerson says:

    A lovely and thoughtful reflection, Sister Jo!

  6. Sister Eileen Spanier says:

    Thank you, Sister, for the beautiful reflection for next Sunday’s Readings! There is so much to ponder and the questions for reflection are very helpful.

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