the Oblates & Sisters of the
Sisterhood of St. John the Divine
These Advent Reflections
to the Glory of God,
in loving memory of,
and with deepest gratitude for
our Beloved in Christ
for the companionship
and faithful prayers
the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine,
our extended SSJD family of
Associates, Oblates and
and many friends
“Grace to you and peace –
I always thank God because I hear of your love
for all the saints and your faith in the Lord Jesus.”
Philemon 1: 3-4
“Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31
“Awaken!”, the theme for this year’s Oblate Advent reflections, was chosen during our Triennial last May. The 3-day gathering took place online and although we would have preferred meeting in-person, thankfully the technology cooperated, enabling us to share meaningful time together.
In significant ways, the pandemic has distorted our sense of time. Months seem to fly by, yet days and weeks drag on and on. It can feel like an uphill slog at times – sociologists even have a name for it: “pandemic fatigue”. We’re worn out, worn down by precautions and restrictions. Lack of social activities with friends and family, or even solo activities of exercise and travel, have, for many, resulted in boredom, depression, even acute frustration, leading some to ask “What’s the point?!” As people give into despair, tossing masks and distancing aside, this has caused an increased number of cases and the cycle continues.
How desperately we need Advent! Its themes of love, joy, peace and hope awaken in us the promises we know to be true. So then, let us yawn, stretch our limbs and loosen those stiff joints! As we rub pandemic sleep from our eyes, may we see that everything, from our seasonal preparations to the prophetic words echoing down the centuries, contains the power to awaken us to the true work of this holy season: the transformation of the world, beginning with the renewal of our faith and the awakening of our hearts to the needs of others.
May these little embers, the lectio of our lives, awaken within you renewed courage, for it is indeed Good News that our God dwells among us and seeks to restore the whole creation.
REFLECTIONS FOR 2022 WILL APPEAR DAILY STARTING ON NOVEMBER 27TH.
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Friday, December 3, 2021
Isaiah 29: 17-24Psalm 27: 1-6, 17-18Matthew 9: 27-31 The Season of Advent comes at the time of year in the northern hemisphere as we move
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Isaiah 26:1-6Psalm 118:19-24Matthew 7:21-27 As I read the passages allocated for today’s reading, the words that come to me are hope and trust. The psalm
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Isaiah 25:6-9Psalm 23Matthew 15:29-39 Today’s readings are seeds of hope. Ruben Alvez states “Hope is hearing the melody of the future”. Isaiah prophesied that the
Tuesday November 30, 2021
Isaiah 11: 1-10Psalm 72: 1-8Luke 10: 21-24 As we continue to plod through the world pandemic, today’s readings, especially Isaiah, bring us fresh hope for
Monday, November 29, 2021
Isaiah 2:1-5Psalm 122Matthew 8:5-13 I love the Message translations of these readings and found myself highlighting the following: Come, let’s live in the light of
Sunday, November 28, 2021
Jeremiah 33:14-16 Psalm 25:1-91 Thessalonians 3:9-13Luke 21:25-36 In Jan Richardson’s book, Through the Advent Door: Entering a Contemplative Christmas (2011), she says, “Advent seems
December 24, 2020
2 Samuel 7:1-6 Psalm 89: 1-4,19-29 Luke 1:67-79 Christmas Eve! Have you finished your shopping? What about the first Christmas Eve?
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Malachi 3:1-5 Psalm 25: 1-14 Luke 1: 57-66 Advent is a time of being still, of waiting, with anticipation and hope.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
1 Samuel 1:19-28 Psalm 113 Luke 1:46-56 Hannah and Mary rejoiced after receiving great blessings from God. Hannah, when she
Monday, December 21, 2020
Song of Songs 2:8-14 Psalm 33:1-5, 20-22 Luke 1:39-45 During this ‘new normal’ time, the readings for today may inspire ‘new normal’
Sunday, December 20, 2020
2 Samuel 7:1-11,16 Psalm 89:1-4,19-26 Romans 16:25-27 Luke 1:26-38 “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Judges 13:2-7, 24-25 Psalm 71:1-8 Luke 1:5-25 We always look for little signs of hope in our lives and when
Friday December 18, 2020
Friday. December 18, 2020 Jeremiah 23:5-8 Psalm 72: 11-19 Matthew 1: 18-25 “…and they will call him “Immanuel” which means
Thursday December 17
Thursday, December 17, 2020 Genesis 49:2, 8-10 Psalm 72:1-8 Matthew 1:1-7,17 In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until
Wednesday December 16
Isaiah 45: 5-8,18-25 Psalm 85: 8-13 Luke 7: 19-23 For me, it has been a year of some darkness. Like
Tuesday, December 15
Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13 Psalm 34: 1-8, 15-22 Matthew 21: 28-32 The Parable of the Two Sons “What do you think?
Monday, December 14, 2020
Numbers 24: 2-7, 15-17a Psalm 25: 3-8 Matthew 21: 23-27 After Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and his cleansing
Sunday December 13, 2020
Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11 Psalm 126 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24 John 1:6-8, 19-28 The third Sunday of Advent is sometimes called
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Sirach 48: 1-11 Psalm 80: 13, 14-18 Matthew 17: 9-13 Sometime in 2019 I decided that in 2020 I would
Friday, December 11, 2020
Isaiah 48: 17-19 Psalm 1 Matthew 11: 16-19 Yesterday’s reading from Matthew sets the context for today. The relationship of
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Isaiah 41: 13-20 Psalm 145: 1-4, 8-13 Matthew 11:7-15 In the verses prior to our gospel reading, John, speaking from
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Isaiah 40: 25-31 Psalm 103: 1-10 Matthew 11: 28-30 2020, the year of the pandemic. Terms like self-isolation, flatten
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Isaiah 40: 1-11 Psalm 96 Matthew 18:12-14 As I read today’s passages, I see a theme of new beginnings and
Monday, December 7, 2020
Isaiah 35:1-10 Psalm 85:8-13 Luke 5: 17-26 The man in the Gospel is named “friend” by Jesus because of the love and