Pastor's Desk December 16, 2018

Dec 14, 2018

When the people asked John the Baptist what they should do, he told them to share their gifts and resources, to treat each other fairly and with kindness. The people were filled with expectation because of his message and then John the Baptist pointed them toward the one who is coming, Jesus himself. 

Today is the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, a day in which the Church calls us to rejoice at the nearness of our God. We are filled with joyful expectation, the blessed hope that Jesus is near us and with us. So, let’s share Jesus with each other. 

When we get together, we often talk about the weather, the state of the world, family problems or the latest gossip. This week, I am challenging all of us to share one faith story with another person. Share a story that relates to the joy and hope you find in following Jesus. We don’t often speak about our faith life, but since our faith is in Jesus, our light, let’s light up the world with stories of Jesus and how He is acting in our lives. Rejoice, the Lord is near. 

One of my favorite faith stories involves my mother and one of her Christmas Traditions. Going to Saint Paul Cathedral School, my sister and I were taught by the Sisters of Mercy. My mother discovered that the Sisters received a small monthly stipend for teaching and she decided that the Sisters should not have to buy things they needed from that small stipend. So every Advent, my family, led by my mother, would travel to our long departed department stores downtown and visit the men’s department. We asked for men’s suit boxes which Kaufmann’s, Gimbels and Horne’s readily gave us. Then it was off to other stores to buy the essentials for our Sisters who taught us. 

My mother would fix the boxes so that they would stay open. She would fill the one half with bath towels, hand towels and wash cloths. The other half she would fill with hand cream, handkerchiefs, brushes, combs, cologne, emery boards, nail files and various other products the Sisters might need. Right before Christmas, every Sister of Mercy at the Cathedral convent received what they affectionately called “Mom’s box of essentials.” My mother just thought it was a way to share our joy with those who gave so much for their vocation as women religious and teachers. Our lay teachers received a handmade toothpick Christmas Tree and a tray full of homemade cookies. My mom told me once, “I just use what God gave me to spread my joy.” Rejoice, Share, the Lord is with us!