“Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness, and that is where death is,” he said. “Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life!”
“Grace and Peace to you from the One who is, who was and is to come.” (The Book of Revelation. 4)
The golden cross on our Easter card reaches out to each and all of you, to the north and south, east and west. The Alpha and Omega, first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, indicate the all inclusive message of hope and good will to all God’s people throughout the world. This message is not sterile but bears leaves and flowers with the promise of fruit already forming beneath the buds.
Our new Franciscan/Jesuit pope urges us not to give in to the daily temptation to bitterness and pessimism but to find new ways of being grace to others and sharing peace with those near and far.
In Community here in Bloomington we know God’s blessingas we celebrate the Solemn Profession of Sister Lucie Lafleur on April 27. Sister Lucie is originally from Quebec where she ministered as a pastoral associate and a member the San Egidio movement with particular outreach to immigrants. Fidelity and fruitfulness come together as we celebrate100 years of life of our Sister Anne Condon, born and raised in Minneapolis, and one of the founders of this Community.
In the celebrations of Holy Week, continuing throughout the Great Fifty Days we remember you all with love and grateful appreciation.
Our lives are made of days and nights, seasons and years, for we are part of a universe of suns and moons and planets. We mark ends and we make beginnings and, in all, we praise God for the grace and mercy that fill our days.
Let us pray for God’s blessing in this new year.
Remember us, O God;
From age to age be our comforter. You have given us the wonder of time, blessings in days and nights, seasons and years. Bless your children at the turning of the year and fill our months ahead with the bright hope that is ours in the coming of Christ.
You are our God, abiding with us for ever and ever. Amen.
Please join us for Christmas Eucharist at 10:00 PM Christmas Eve and continue the celebration in our hospitality area following the Eucharist.
“Up from the stump of Jesse.”
The prototype of our Christmas greeting is a two dimensional art piece in the Hanji tradition of ancient Korea. Korea is famous for paper making, utilizing the inner bark of the native Mulberry tree. From this craft of paper making flows the art of pressing and pulling and tearing bits of paper into two and three dimensional forms of exquisite beauty.
The Scriptural inspiration for the card is from the prophet Isaiah: “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of its roots.” Isaiah: 11: 1.
Jesus is the “shoot” of God’s tree. The tree is the family of God. The root on the card is made of tightly rolled paper in shades of green and brown formed to make the “stump.” The Child, lying in the “nest” of the root, is from the family of Jesse. His destiny is to be born in poverty and suffering. The red color signifies suffering. Gold is the color of glory, and reminds us that Jesus is born to die and to rise from death that we might follow in his footprints. Blue is for purity of vision and of life. Jesus is wrapped in the blue blanket of his person, our true leader and guide. The leaves and berries show life in the fertile root.
The background of the card signifies the Universe, indicated by a variety of paper forms. The stump of Jesse comes out of the seeming chaos of the Universe, God working so carefully over eons of time. The star is leading us where we have to go, and to the One to whom we are called to follow.
Blessed Christmas to all!
“It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas”
THE ADVENT SEASON
First Sunday of Advent, Year C in the Common Cycle
of Christian Readings:
Jeremiah 33: 14-16
I Thessalonians 3:12-4-2
Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36
Advent is the Season to watch and wait.
“Sun, moon and stars wonder at God’s love
For God gives all,
All for our love.” *
The sky is dark blue as dawn wakes the world
with touches of pink.
Can we not watch and wait…and “wonder at
The moon sheds silver shadows on the sky,
blue shadows on the snow;
the house-beams crack all night
startling us with the news
that it is colder than we thought.
“Winter is closing in,” we say,
but winter moves us outward in imagination
to learn how cold it is to be exiled from the sun,
how lonely the darkness,
how welcome the light of any approaching star.