Post of December 9th: Today’s Gospel starts out with a cozy feeling. Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” What sounds like a warm flannel blanket turns quickly into a wooden yoke that chafes. But even wearing a yoke, Jesus informs us, “you will find rest for yourselves.” But then I think that a yoke ties me to another taking away my freedom. True, the companion in my yoke is Christ, who promised an easy, light burden. But still I may feel a bit resentful about losing my independence. The passage seems like an extended oxymoron. Easy load. Light burden. Rest when hitched to a plow. And we can set this little passage into the whole Gospel, which could be considered an extended oxymoron. The last shall be first. The first shall be last. To save your life, lose it. We die to live.

With Christmas approaching we may watch our weight to enjoy the season’s goodies. While Advent may be a time to watch our weight, it’s a time to wait in watch, to watch for the many comings of the Lord. Advent, like an alarm clock, awakens us to all the good things we can do in this season. Are we awake? Be like the watchman who waits for the dawn. Be on the lookout for opportunities to share your faith, give your service, or have a few extra minutes to pray. In these ways and many others ways we can find the coming of the Lord throughout the day. Watch for God’s coming in your family, coworkers, Scripture, songs, newscasts, the excitement of children, and more.

Post of December 8th: Our readers may recall that the Sisters of Notre Dame in the United States became one province in July. Formerly our four provinces had their own particular feast and patron.  When suggestions poured in for a new name for our united province, the results were quite conclusive. As the Sisters of Notre Dame in the United States, we chose the patroness of our country—Mary, under her title Immaculate Conception. Today is the first time we celebrate as one. With Mary we say, “May it be done to [us] according to your word.”