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Advent Reflections


These Advent Reflections 

are offered

to the Glory of God,

in loving memory of

Sr. Patricia Forler, SSJD


and as a gift 

to the extended 

family of 

the Sisterhood –

Associates, Oblates,


and many friends,

in thanksgiving 

for our 

Common Life 

in Christ.

“We give thanks to God 

and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

praying always for you, ….”

Colossians 1: 3-4



Advent 2023            

Waiting in Hope


When I was seven, my Irish grandmother brought me a souvenir from the Old Country, a small metal frame painted with a poem which I soon could say by heart, and like a fruitful lectio, it rises up in me when I need reminding. 


Said the Robin to the Sparrow, 

“I should really like to know 

why these anxious human beings 

rush about and worry so.”


Said the Sparrow to the Robin, 

“Friend, I think that it must be 

that they have no heavenly Father, 

such as cares for you and me.”1


Though I didn’t know until recently, this conversation between birds is titled “Overheard in an Orchard”.  Astute in their appraisal of the human condition, the curiosity of one precedes the pity of the other: clearly these humans have no Advocate – for had they, their lives would be unburdened. 

There’s plenty in the world to cause distress, to send us rushing madly off in all directions weighed down with worry and fear, but we are called to live into the Hope that is ours.

Advent invites us into a time of expectant waiting by heralding the hope we long for. The coming of Emmanuel, whose very name means God-with-us, is echoed in this overheard conversation. Jesus came to teach us how to live and how to love – not from afar, but from right here, among us. St. Peter dares us to “always be ready to give an account for the hope that is in you”.2 This year marks the 10th year of these Advent messages and once again, each Oblate’s reflection can be read as a conversation overheard in the orchard of our daily lives. 

Suggested readings are included with these entries. May they also be a source of hope in your daily devotions. As we journey on to Bethlehem, we welcome your company on the Way.

Frances Drolet-Smith


1Elizabeth Cheney. 1859        


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Monday , December 18, 2023

James Tissot (Nantes, France, 1836–1902, Chenecey-Buillon, France). Portrait of Zacharias and Elizabeth Jeremiah 23: 5-8 Psalm 72: 11-1 Matthew 1:18-25
 The gospel of Matthew harkens here

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Saturday , December 16, 2023

MIGUEL ADÁNWood relief, polychromed and gilded 1530-1600 Sirach 48:1-11 Psalm 80:1-3, 14-18 Matthew 17:9-13  In the reading from Matthew’s gospel, the disciples and Jesus have just shared

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Thursday , December 14, 2023

 Velino Shije Herrera, Story Teller, ca. 1925-1935, gouache and pencil on paperboard, sheet: 10 x 15 in. (25.6 x 38.2 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum Isaiah 41:13-20 Psalm 145:1-4, 8-13 Matthew 11:7-15 How

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Friday, December 8, 2023

From a Book of HoursFlemish (Liege), c. 1250-1300The Hague, Koninklijk BibliotheekMS KB 76 G 17, fol. 20v  Isaiah 29:17-24 Psalm 27:1-6,17-18 Matthew 9:27-31 We are all

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infant and dragonfly

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Virgin and Child with a Dragonfly/Master of Saint Giles Netherlandish/French Isaiah 11:1-10 Psalm 72:1-8 Luke 10:21-24 Last week, while riding a bus to the library, I

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Sunday, December 3 2023

Sunday, December 3, 2023  Isaiah 63:16-64:8 Psalm 80:1-7,1 Corinthians 1:3-9Mark 13:32-37  ‘O God of peace, who taught us that in returning and rest we shall

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