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An Advent Message from Prioress Sister Nancy Miller
Sometimes on foggy winter mornings out here on the prairie, the fog is so dense, we can’t see the vast horizon or even the path in front of us. We wait for the sun to break through so we can see clearly.
That is how it is with the season of Advent. It is a time of clearing our heads and opening our hearts so we can see more clearly the Son of God when he comes. It is so easy to walk about in a fog with all the noise and clamor of preparing for Christmas. Sometimes our minds and hearts are so full of distractions, we lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas. We lose sight of Jesus. Advent is a time to quiet ourselves to pray and prepare our hearts to welcome the Lord when he comes. Jesus asks us to be alert, to wake up, and to push away the fog so we can truly recognize him in the depths of our being, in our community, family and in anyone we meet.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that John the Baptist was Elijah preparing the way for the Lord. But the people did not recognize him because they were expecting someone else. The people also didn’t recognize Jesus as the Son of God because they were expecting the Messiah to act differently – to be a powerful earthly king, not a suffering servant.
Participating in the Eucharist during Advent is a way of letting go of our false expectations of who Jesus is. We ready our hearts to allow Jesus to be born in us in an ever deeper way. At Mass, we encounter Jesus in the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. We hear Jesus speaking to us through the Scriptures, we praise the wondrous acts of salvation and we receive Christ’s body and blood. We become one with him and with each other in a deeper way.
Advent is about remembering the great gift of love that the Father has bestowed on us in sending us His Son, Jesus. Let us pray that we can clear away the fog from our hearts and minds - to wake up and live with the love and light of Jesus, our Savior.
By Sister Nancy Miller , Prioress
Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery