Advent is the season when we sing, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel!" It is a time when we are called to actively wait and watch for the coming of "our God with us." But it is also one of the busiest times of the semesters!
Campus Ministry invites you to take time out to reflect during this Advent season with "Reflect Emmanuel: A Series of Advent Meditations on Our God with Us." Written and artistic reflections will post to this page each weekday. We hope you will take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to contemplate our God with us during this Advent Season!
December 24, 2012 - Jaime Vidaurrazaga, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies
Readings of the Day: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122412.cfm
Waiting and hoping against all odds: this attitude defines the characters of Elizabeth and Zechariah in Luke's infancy narrative. Their life together has been filled with disappointment and when we first meet them we find them old, barren, and at the brink of losing hope. They offer an interesting parallel to Mary, whose virginal youth offers many future possibilities but few accomplishments yet.
When they realize that God is fulfilling the promises of old in their very own lives, Zechariah and Mary both burst in song. Zechariah sings the Benedictus (our Gospel reading today) and Mary the Magnificat. Both songs praise a faithful God who has remained on the side of Israel through the ups and downs of history and who now fulfills the promises made to Abraham and his descendents forever.
These characters are ready to sing and praise, they are ready to commit to the cause of the coming Reign of God because their hope is rooted in a longstanding-even if rocky at times-relationship with God. As we prepare to experience the birth of God in our midst this Christmas, whether we have already experienced our share of disappointment, or we are worried about what the future holds for us, let us pray that we too are rooted in God's love and ready to sing and to commit ourselves to God's Reign.Back to Top
December 22, 2012 - Gretchenrae Callanta, Assistant Director of Residence Life/Residence Director
Readings of the Day: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/122212.cfm
"Write down the vision
clearly upon the tablets,
so that one can read it readily.
For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
If it delays, wait for it,
It will surely come, it will not be late."
(Habakkuk 2, 2-3)
Back to Top
Photo: by Gretchenrae Callanta
December 21, 2012 - Sr. Karen Hokanson, SND
Readings of the Day: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122112.cfm
"O Come O Come Emmanuel"
During this wonderful season of the Church year when Christians around the world celebrate the coming of the Lord, I am always grateful that the foundresses of our educational institution, the Sisters of Notre Dame, were so inclined to name our college, EMMANUEL! God with us!
How important it is for us to "pay attention" to our name Emmanuel and all its implications! When we see the name in print do we take the time to translate its meaning into our daily lives? Do we truly believe that God is with us as we participate in intercollegiate sports programs? Do we believe God is with us as we prepare for exams, or that we personally represent God's Word?
In the Gospel reading according to Luke that we proclaim this day, I believe that Mary in her greeting to her cousin Elizabeth experienced a profound sense of what it meant for God to be with her. She did not understand, she pondered in her heart, and quietly and humbly paid attention to all that was happening.
As we look forward to the "Word made flesh" on Christmas Day, may we ponder and reflect on the gift Emmanuel is to each of us, and may we also ponder and reflect on how we live our lives attentive to the fact that God is with us!Back to Top
December 20, 2012 - Kyle Costa, Class of 2014
Readings of the Day: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/122012.cfm
"May it be done" (Luke 1:28).
Advent is a time of renewal, the dawn of a new beginning. This particular week of Advent is known as Gaudete, Latin for "rejoice". It is a time of joyful celebration as we anticipate the coming of the anointed one, Emmanuel, our God who is with us.
For many on campus, however, this time is like any other, and the concept of rejoicing may seem meaningless. After all, what is there to be joyous about? With all the stress college puts on us physically, mentally, and emotionally, this time seems more of a dreadful rite of passage rather than a time to celebrate. As kids, we were enchanted by the magic of Christmas, but now this season seems more of a contest of who has the best decorations or the more expensive presents. Whereas before we believed everything in life would be handed to us easily, we now understand that we must work hard and compete with peers in order to get a very limited amount of jobs.
Nothing is guaranteed in life and it is this unknowingness that creates fear. This fear, however, blinds us from seeing what blessings we truly have: We are able to live in a community that welcomes all forms of diversity regardless of creed, race, or sexual orientation. We are blessed to have friends and family that care for us, and professors that try hard to prepare us for the next chapter in our lives. Ultimately, we are blessed to be alive.
These are all reasons why it is right to be joyous during this time of year. As Mary accepted the will of God by saying "may it be done" (Lk 1:28), we too must learn to accept what is beyond our control. Just as Advent means a new beginning, let the transition into the new semester be a fresh start. Forget any regrets and failures from the past, and don't worry about the future, but focus your mind on the present moment and be filled with joy by the blessings you have. "Gaudete Christus est natus"- Rejoice Christ is born!
Back to Top
December 19, 2012 - Mary Moriaty, Class of 2015
Readings of the Day: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121912.cfm
My family and I prepare for the Advent season by going to pick "creeping pine" at Harold Parker to make an Advent wreath. It's been a tradition since I was a little girl and we always do it on Thanksgiving weekend, because it is a good time for all of us to come together and do this as a family.
Photos: Harold Parker State Forest, by Mary Moriaty, Thanksgiving 2012Back to Top
December 18, 2012 - Joyce Lonergan, Alumna Class of 1984
Readings of the Day: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121812.cfm
For me, Advent is very connected to music. Growing up, we had music on nearly 24 hours a day. My mom is a prayerful lady and my dad had a special affinity for music - especially the music of Christmas - and so we listened to everything, from The Messiah to our favorite singers on Broadway. When I read the prophet Jeremiah's words and Matthew's Gospel for today, two things immediately come to mind connected to music: The word "behold", as it connects to The Messiah and what it was like to be Joseph and Mary.
I have been listening to The Messiah since I graduated from Emmanuel. It emphasizes the wonder of Advent and Jesus' birth, and the glory of God. There are three passages in The Messiah that have always stood out to me. "Comfort ye, my People" is a welcoming, soothing greeting during this incredible journey. "Behold, a Virgin Shall Conceive..." which goes on to say how Mary shall bear and son, and shall name him Emmanuel, God with Us! And finally, "Behold, I tell you a mystery..." While "Behold" begins so many of the beautiful arias, this one stands out to me the most-what an incredible story in the birth and life of Jesus.
When I read Matthew's Gospel, two songs from one of my parent's favorite Broadway performers, Michael Crawford, immediately come to mind: "Mary did you know?" and "Strange way to save the world". When you picture the simplicity of life in Israel, the journey of a prayerful yet very regular engaged couple, and the social norms of the time, it is really amazing how Jesus' birth came to pass. Even more amazing is how graceful Mary was through the journey, and how carefully and openly Joseph listened to God's angels. I often listen to these two pieces, sung in today's words, before I go to sleep, as a meditation on Advent.
A Little Advent Gift to You
If I could give you just one gift
If we could walk for just one mile
To live in Mary and Joseph's style...
The wonder of Advent
A mystery unreal
A most precious season
A love that we still feel
Emmanuel, God With Us
Beside us every day
No matter where we go
Straight path or slight astray
A never-ending love
Can never be depressed
A never ending God
With Him, we're always blessed
I hope this little prayer
Can give one soul a lift
And give back a bit to you,
Emmanuel, Life-long Gift
Artwork: "Flight into Egypt", by Luc Olivier Merson. http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/rest-on-the-flight-into-egypt-31734
December 17, 2012 - Laurie Johnston, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies
Readings of the Day: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121712.cfm
Jesus had some interesting family history. The Gospel of Matthew opens with Jesus' genealogy, and the list has some surprises. King David is there-with his partner in adultery, Bathsheba. There are some good kings, and a king who raised taxes so high, he provoked a civil war from which his country never recovered. There is a prostitute, a woman who pretended to be a prostitute, a leper, and an idolater who sacrificed his own son. Whatever scandalous stories you and I might hear at our family gatherings this holiday, I think Jesus could top it!
Yet this is how Matthew chooses to begin his gospel-his good news that after all of these eventful lives, a new life has come into the world that has significance for us all. Though it took many flawed generations to arrive, the message is clear: through God's grace, something profoundly good can come even out of families marked by human frailty and sinfulness.
Still, this focus on family history is a bit ironic, given that Jesus radically redefined the meaning of family for his followers: to be a disciple of Jesus was to join a new kind of family determined not by blood ties, but by a shared commitment to the community of believers.
Baptism is a celebration of one's adoption into this new family of believers. And that is why the traditional baptismal liturgy also includes a genealogy of sorts: the Litany of the Saints. The saints, our ancestors in the faith, are called upon by name to welcome and pray for the new child who has been brought into the family of believers through baptism-a family that transcends time and space.
This Advent, I invite you to join me in reflecting on our many inheritances with gratitude-whether from our biological families or from the "saints" in our own lives. Faith itself is a gift that comes to us through others, and yet we do not always acknowledge those debts.
And in this time which is so often focused on gatherings with family, I invite you to also consider how that definition of family might be broadened. How can we, in the midst of the holidays, also welcome our brothers and sisters who are finding no room in the crowded inns, overburdened medical clinics, unwelcoming immigration offices, and precarious refugee camps of this world?
December 15, 2012 - Leah Terrill, Class of 2012
Readings of the Day: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/121512.cfm
As the semester comes to a close, as does the year,
it seems that the chaos increases.
Today, and every day, we must take the time to find peace in our lives
away from the stress we create for ourselves.
Reminisce on fond memories of a favorite book or place;
reflect on the joys and blessings in life.
When quiet space eludes you, make peace with the chaos.
The rhythmic click of the keyboard,
the ringing of Emmanuel's bells versus the wailing sirens,
the slamming of St. Joe's hall doors.
Tomorrow will be a day to rejoice, for now, sit and enjoy.
We were promised peace and peace we shall have.
Back to Top
Photo: Barnabrow Holiday Village, County Cork, Ireland, by Leah Terrill, 2012
December 14, 2012 - Jennifer Woodall, Cataloguer and Distribution Librarian
Readings of the Day: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/121412.cfm
I have traveled down several paths in my life.
Some have been easy and well defined,
while others were more difficult to find and harder to tread.
All were journeys full of adventures.
And all have seemed to end at a destination.
Some being blessed with joys
while others being cursed with sorrows.
And all were mine.
So I continued to travel,
determined that my choices were succinct...just...and dare I say, noble!
Yet somehow, I feel that these journeys have just led me down another path...
with yet another decision full of muddy earth to trample my well-worn boots through.
So here I sit...pondering...
Have I become a wanderer?
When do I shed my cloak of youth and don the wisdom of the elders? When will I find the one true path?
When I look up, will Your light be there to guide me?
Back to Top
Photo: Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Ireland, by Jennifer Woodall, 2008
December 13, 2012 - Emelia Attridge, Class of 2013
Readings of the Day: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/121312.cfm
I will plant in the desert the cedar,
acacia, myrtle, and olive;
I will set in the wasteland the cypress,
together with the plane tree and the pine,
That all may see and know,
observe and understand,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Is 41:19-20)
"The Kingdom of heaven suffers violence,
and the violent are taking it by force." (Mt 11:12)
"The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness." (Ps 145:8)
One of my favorite things is a morning just after a snow storm. The sun hasn't had a chance to melt the snow, and it sits crisp and sparkling over everything. My grandfather was a forester, and he planted a variety of pine and spruce in particular; he even planted his own Christmas tree farm. As a family, we took care of the farm during the summer months, and then on winter weekends, our whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins, would gather at the tree farm to sell trees to families for Christmas. One of my favorite things to see is a pine tree just after a huge snow storm. The weight of the snow is heavy, but the tree is strong enough to support it. I'm reminded of God's creation in these moments so close to nature, but it also reminds me that I have strength in Christ, just like the pine tree.
Back to Top
Artwork: "Snowy Pines", by Emelia Attridge, 2012
December 12, 2012 - Sarah Grunder, Class of 2013
Readings of the Day: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121212.cfm
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
"And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.
Dispeller of the cloud of prophets' dreams
With fear I hear the greeting you bespeak
How can you say His favor rest with me?
Young woman from the town of Galilee
O lands now dry shall richly overflow
The silence of the Priest of Aaron broke
Thus shines the barren cousin now aglow
For all the happy songs this day provoke
To hold the whispers of a thing to come
To bear the promise that our God reveals
To be the mother, call the maker "son"
Awaited babe, answer to our appeals
Behold I am the handmaid of the LORD
May Love prevail, His people now restored
Back to Top
December 11, 2012 -Kristin (Campbell) Nelson, Alumna Class of 2006
Readings of the Day: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121112.cfm
"If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
Today's Gospel reading highlights the comfort, love, mercy and compassion of God. Logically, a shepherd would never leave his entire flock just to search for one stray sheep. However, Emmanuel, our God with us, has loved us from before we were born. God promises that no matter what path we may take in life, He will continue to search for us. Even in the dark days of Advent and painful times in our lives, God wants to have a relationship with us and waits patiently for us to reach out. We have all been that lone sheep at one time or another - lost, alone, confused, or frightened - looking for a familiar face or an explanation for our struggling. It is often in my most challenging moments that God's presence becomes clearer.
Four years ago, just before Christmas, my grandfather passed away. He was my biggest fan - he came to every spelling bee, science fair, cello concert and dance recital. I was devastated to lose him. Additionally, a huge snow storm hit the days of his wake and funeral, leaving many of my friends unable to attend and support me through this tough time. Despite being with my other family members, I felt completely alone. While walking behind my Grampa's casket down the aisle of the church, I looked up to see one of my work colleagues give a sympathetic smile. I couldn't believe it: this man, who had only known me for a few months, drove for miles during a storm to be with me during one of the darkest, most difficult times in my life. Through a simple action, my colleague showed me the true meaning of Emmanuel.
We as Christians are called to seek out the "lost sheep" of our community and our world. This proves to be a difficult task, especially during the hectic month of December. But we must remember how it feels to experience challenges, struggles and suffering and strive to support those around us most in need. How can you be Emmanuel for others this Advent?
Photo: from http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/book-review-spectrum-17/
December 10, 2012 - Paul Rowley, Class of 2016
Readings of the Day: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121012.cfm
I haven't always been sure what Advent has meant to me. In church, the few times I attended as I was growing up, I had to pretend that I even knew what it meant, or that I knew why I was there. I didn't, and that problem followed me outside of church - not knowing why I was anywhere. More or less, I just needed to feel like I had arrived at a place where I needed to be... but there was never any indication that there was such a place, and certainly no sign that I had found it. At the end of high school, although I had doubts, I was hopeful that Emmanuel College would finally be that place.
Boston has always been such a special place to me. My mother would take me into the city and we would ride the T together, visit family, and go to the Prudential Center. She took me to the observation deck once when I was barely five years old. I remember sitting in the back seat as we drove back home at night, and watching the moon dodge between the buildings and then rest along the skyline of the city behind me. We would even come to Boston at Christmas time to see all of the lights and the decorations at Faneuil Hall. That was real magic, that warm feeling of being in a really busy place during a very happy time and not having any cares.
Years later I graduated high school and came to this college. I think that I have found my place here. After the semester had started, I saw the moon right overhead again, in the most beautiful late summer sky, and I felt like I had before. A few weeks ago I took a walk to clear my head. As I came close to the Prudential Tower, I remembered back to the time when I had looked down to where I stood now. I took a photo from where I was standing, and then I sort of laughed to myself because I realized that I've spent so much time looking beyond myself that I never stopped to appreciate the place that I had found. I had come here very unsure of myself, and now it felt like home. I think this is what Advent means to me, the act of coming home, of being received and accepted and loved. That warm feeling of being in a really busy place during a very happy time and not having any cares. Life is magical.
Photos: "Prudential Tower" and "Sunset in the City", by Paul Rowley, 2012
Back to Top
December 8, 2012 - Sister Janet Eisner, SND, President
Readings of the Day: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/120812.cfm
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mother, recognizing the teaching that Mary was conceived free from original sin. The Gospel reading for today recounts the Annunciation, the divine conception of Jesus, which the Church celebrates on March 25th, exactly nine months before Jesus's birth on Christmas Day.
In this Gospel passage from Luke, repeated several times during Advent, an Angel sent by God invites a very young Jewish girl, Mary, to be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah. As we enter into the scene, we hear the Angel greet Mary: "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.... Behold, you are to bear a son and name him Jesus." Mary asks, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" The Angel responds, "The Holy Spirit will overshadow you, and the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." Mary says, "Yes": "May it be done to me according to your word."
The moment before Mary responds is described in the poem, "The Annunciation."*
This was the minute no one speaks of, when she could still refuse.
A breath unbreathed, Spirit, suspended, waiting.
Consent, courage unparalleled, opened her utterly.
As we continue our reflection, we wonder what Mary was feeling. We read that she was filled with joy and ran immediately to be with her older relative, and she sang rejoicing in God. Was Mary also wondering what her fiancé, Joseph, would think about her pregnancy? Was she concerned about how she would care for this child? Would she have to do so alone?
Mary lived in the real world. God chose to be born into it. In the same way, God desires greatly to be with us in our very real world-with parents concerned for their children, with young people caught in human trafficking, with families suffering and yet hopeful others will reach out to help.
In this time of Advent, of joyful expectation, may we, like Mary, be attentive to God's annunciations in our lives. May we celebrate our humanness-because God chose to become human and live with us as our God with us, Emmanuel.
The Annunciation has been depicted in art and song for centuries.
* "The Annunciation", by Denise Levertov
Back to Top
December 7, 2012 - Crista Carrick Mahoney, Campus Minister for Education and Social Justice
Readings of the Day: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/120712.cfm
When I was 11 we moved across the street from our local parish, Immaculate Heart of Mary. That was the year we started to go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, which started a new tradition of the late night "wrap sessions" in the basement when my parents went to bed. By the time I reached high school, it had become our responsibility to "create the magic", as my sister calls it. We would bring up the presents from the basement and create the set up around the tree that we would then come down to on Christmas morning. Somehow, regardless of having to create the magic ourselves on Christmas Eve, we would still come down the stairs in wonder on Christmas morning - a bit bleary eyed, but awed just the same at the beauty of a tree lit up pops of red and green paper and ribbon peeking out from under it. It wasn't about everything being in its proper place, packages put just so; it was about the kernel of hope that had been planted in us sometime early in Advent as we heard the voice crying out in the wilderness, heralding the coming of the Anointed One; that kernel of hope that blossomed as we listened to Herman, our Irish baritone neighbor as he sang a heart-wrenching rendition of "O Holy Night" after Communion on Christmas Eve.
In the first reading, Isaiah talks about how everything is turned around - "the deaf shall hear... the blind shall see... the poor will rejoice" (Isaiah 29), and the response to all of this: awe, reverence, new understanding. Much like the two blind men in the Gospel passage- who, because they believe that Jesus can heal them, they are healed-there is a hope that grows with us throughout Advent. It is that hope that, in spite of all the stress and hassle of this time of preparation we are in, creates the magic of Christmas morning. A baby is born. There is new life. How can we not celebrate the magic of that moment without awe, reverence and a new understanding of God who shows up in our world again and again?
Back to Top
December 6, 2012 - Lisa Stepanski, Professor of English
Readings of the Day: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/120612.cfm
Today's readings celebrate physical spaces: cities, walls, ramparts and high places (Is 26:1-6), refuges and gates (Ps 118), houses built on rock or sand (Mt 7:21-27). The latter is a particular favorite, the Gospel passage my sisters and I chose for our father's funeral mass.
Dad designed our family's house at 42 Otis Street shortly after WWII. He and Mom sold it in 1999. But because of its many associations with my father and all he was to me, I'll always consider it my spiritual home. Over decades Dad, a talented amateur carpenter, roofed and renovated, painted and plastered, and tirelessly tackled endless home improvement projects with a goal of creating a safe place to raise a family.
Photo: Stepanski Family Home, by Theodore J. Stepanski, 1964
Like home ownership, faith is a lifelong construction project requiring time, energy and sacrifice. It often starts small, in childhood. Every Sunday for years, Dad took my sisters and me to the 9:00 am Mass so our harried mother could enjoy the 10:30am service alone, free from the demands of importunate children. Only years later did I fully appreciate the impact of his commitment on my spiritual formation. Sometimes simply persevering in faith is a powerful means of grace. This much Dad understood: get to church. But that's not always easy, especially when I feel spiritually dead or my teenagers are putting up a fight. Those Sundays, I recall the many masses with my father that created a foundation for my adult faith, one grounded in the Eucharist.
But as Jesus points out, even wise and faithful builders must weather nature's storms. Faith holds our hand and shapes our response to the cataclysm. Dad's first wife, Shirley, with whom he built his house, died in 1956. Yet I can't recall this tremendous loss ever dimming my father's boundless optimism and joy.
A sound spiritual strategy, then, is to acknowledge that Advent, like life, is not all sugar and light. December brings gladness, joy, celebration-and crankiness, fatigue, sadness, anxiety, even depression. Faith will not inoculate us against the holiday blues. What it does offer is hope that no matter the buffets of snow and sleet, our final destination is a safe haven, the wise builder's house, founded on the eternal rock.Back to Top
December 5, 2012 - Kenneth Abert, Executive Director of Graduate Studies
Readings of the Day: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/120512.cfm
During this busy time of year, as everyone deals with the stress associated with exams, family, and holiday shopping, it is important to also take time to evaluate all the positive aspects in life, like the wonderful diversity that we can see in people, and to appreciate the strengths that can come from within everyone. This is also a great time of the year to appreciate the value and benefits of a piece of bread.
When I think of all the people that surrounded Jesus in the desert to listen to him preach, the cultural diversity, and the various religious beliefs. I also think about how important it is to learn to appreciate people for where they are and to not judge a person that may not celebrate the same holidays and traditions that I do. This world is such a great place because we are all different, with strong religious traditions and different cultural values, not unlike the people who had gathered to hear Jesus preach in the story of the seven loaves. I don't believe that Jesus ever asked someone what their beliefs were before they were healed or fed; it simply was not important.
That is the lesson I want to take away from this story: the spirit of this season is in the way I choose to listen, value, and share the bread I have to offer with friends, family, and especially people I don't know.Back to Top
December 4, 2012 - Kelsey Lockhart, Class of 2015
Readings of the Day: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/120412.cfm
Advent is a time of waiting for Christ to be born... I think of candles and light that stand for rebirth, hope and peace.
Photo: Candle Light, by Kelsey Lockhart, 2011Back to Top
December 3, 2012 - Patricia A. Rissmeyer, Vice President of Student Affairs
Readings of the Day: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/120312.cfm
"Oh Lord I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word...." (Mt 8:5-11)
The Centurion in Matthew's Gospel speaks these words with humility and faith. A gentile and Roman soldier, the Centurion begs Jesus to heal his dying servant. Jesus is amazed by the faith of the Centurion, even remarking on it to his disciples.
These words of the Centurion in Matthew's Gospel have been familiar ones since the Catholic Church introduced them last Advent as part of the New Translation of the Mass. These words are prayed at each Liturgy by those preparing to receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist.
As I read these beautiful Gospel words that I have recited since last December, I was surprised to experience a deep connection. The idea that Jesus would enter 'under my roof' (an image that I associate with the sacred and sheltering space of my home) struck me as both poetic and profound. I was particularly moved by the humanity of the story: the Centurion's advocacy for his servant, Jesus's recognition of the Centurion's faith and the sense of community that Jesus shared with his disciples, his friends.
The First Reading and the Responsorial Psalm for today both invite us to rejoice in the house of the Lord. The images of the Lord's House and the Centurion's House, side by side, represent for me the relational nature of our faith and of the community in which we practice it.
At Emmanuel, we believe that community is a defining characteristic of our College. When we are at our best, we are actively placing relationships at the center of our College life. We also believe in Emmanuel, our God who is with us. As we begin this Advent Season, may our hearts be open, may our relationships be strong, and may we feel the loving presence of God.
Photo: Emmanuel College Chapel at Advent, Tom Kates, 2007
For further reflection, listen to Oh Lord I Am Not Worthy by Collin Raye and Marie Bellet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d6WXZAlIj0Back to Top