Monday Advent Week 1

I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 8:11

You will not find anywhere a group of wiser and more fervent youngsters. I’m going to send six to Texas, four to Red River and three to Ceylon.  I am going to ordain them priests before their imminent departure as they are all deacons. We have never have had such a large number of them in the Congregation. We encompass the whole world with our apostles whose zeal and devotedness wring from me tears of joy and tenderness. They are going off happy to be chosen to announce the Good News without giving the impression that they are making the least sacrifice. How can we not admire the working of the Holy Spirit in these generous souls?

Letter to Father Charles Baret, 24 January 1852, EO XI n. 1098

[NOTE: Each year at around this time, I pause the daily chronological reflection on the writings of Saint Eugene. This year I have decided to “pause” but to do something different: a daily quote from Saint Eugene linked to the Gospel of the day of the liturgical season.]

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate says:

    What a gift this is to begin Advent in this way – as we are invited to enter more fully into the season of Advent with the rest of the Church, seeing through the lens of St. Eugene and the entire Oblate family. It highlights the joy and excitement as we journey together towards Christmas. A new family Advent calendar. Within me there is ‘fervent child’ rejoicing and dancing around.

    My thoughts slip through the barriers of time as I think of the Roman centurion asking Jesus to heal his servant. The love that centurion had for his servant, that he would go to a Jewish rebel, asking that his God (Jesus’s God) to heal his servant. He was, out of love, prepared to sacrifice his job and place as a Roman. Jesus uniting him with all of the hold prophets and leaders of the Jewish religion.

    Eugene speaks not of his sacrifice of love in sending out the young men to different corners of the world, but of the sacrifice of the young men, new priests who don’t give any impression of making a sacrifice (of love). Yet that will be their life from that point onward, sacrifice will be involved…

    I think for a moment of the three kings, the three wise men who set out to find this new king that God is leading them to. No planes to fly in, no maps of where to go – they are told to follow a star, a light from God… We too, know the sacrifice of love involved in allowing ourselves to be sent…

    What sacrifice are we invited to make: noticeable or seemingly insignificant? We are in this new season standing in a slightly altered light, looking and seeing through Eugene’s writings and the scriptures of the day in such a way that we go deeper within ourselves and God.

    That little girl within me is smiling as she dances around – full of the joy of experiencing each new day as she responds to the immensity of God’s love and this Advent.

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