Are you busy getting ready for the Holidays? As Thanksgiving arrives, we easily fall into the endless bustle of festivities and parties and “Christmas cheer.” It does seem easier to enjoy the gifts, good food, and traditions than to focus on the watchfulness and reflection that Advent calls for. The Scriptures of Advent remind us to be watchful, to be repentant, and to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. It isn’t easy to focus on God when the rest of society is swept into party mode. Yet we are called to live the message of God’s love, mercy, and promise of salvation.
One of the themes we hear at Mass during Advent is the call to proclaim the Good News–of God’s greatness and of our salvation. John the Baptist preaches and baptizes. Elizabeth proclaims Mary as the mother of our Savior. The shepherds witness the miracle of our Lord’s birth. All answered God’s call to share the reason for joy to the world, a call we also share.
“When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.” (Luke 2:15-17)
This holiday season, let’s reflect on this call. It means sharing the Good News through our words and deeds with the people around us – our coworkers, friends, and family members. It involves telling the world about the source of our hope, our peace, and our joy. It includes taking responsibility for sharing the truth about God’s goodness. What we share is not a fleeting moment or temporary happiness; rather it’s the permanent and transforming love and mercy that God offers to us all.
“All of us are called to offer others an explicit witness to the saving love of the Lord, who despite our imperfections offers us his closeness, his word and his strength, and gives meaning to our lives.” Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, 121
This mission of answering God’s call and proclaiming Him to all nations is one of fundamental importance to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC). Our founder, Fr. Jules Chevalier, wished that the Sacred Heart of Jesus would be loved everywhere. With your generous support, we continue to realize his wish by providing education, vocational assistance, pastoral and retreat care, and more. Most recently, we have redesigned our website and communications to better share our news, successes, and stories of hope with you and to make known Christ’s love and mercy throughout the world.
If you feel you that the MSC and our spirituality have helped your spiritual life or your community, please consider supporting our priests and brothers in their mission to answer God’s call. Click here to visit the donation page or go to http://misacor-usa.org/donate to make a one-time or monthly gift.
This holiday season may you experience the true peace of Christ, and the joy that comes with knowing that you are answering His call.
V. Rev. Raymond Diesbourg, M.S.C.