“Jesus is the reason for the season“
I write this belated December letter on the beautiful feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. Grades 1 and 2 have just returned from Tenafly where they delighted our retired sisters and many parents with their reenactment of the Nativity. One of our wonderful families generously funded the refurbishment of our costumes and every child looked particularly beautiful, the head angel’s wings are simply stunning and we have more singing animals in the stable than ever before. But the beauty of the performance comes from the innocence and sincerity of our littlest students and the enthusiasm of their teachers. I know you and your families will be touched and impressed by this presentation at our concert on Monday evening.
These little angels, shepherds, kings, etc… will recall this experience, along with their parents, for many years to come. As they will remember that they crowned the Blessed Mother, sang a solo at Ring Ceremony, read their farewell at graduation, or received the Franciscan Award. These are the moments that make up childhood and they go by so swiftly. Though we are all overscheduled and overwhelmed during December let us take the time to appreciate the slow work of God. Yesterday your children were babies now they are Joseph and Mary, have interviews at Regis High School, are making their First Holy Communion. This is the message of the Advent season, open our eyes, prepare, something wonderful is about to happen and it has very little to do with shopping or our consumer culture.
When our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill in 1531 he was filled with anxiety at the thought of asking the bishop to build a church. During this time of year many are filled with anxiety and stress perhaps these words of Our Lady of Guadalupe will help.
“Listen and let it penetrate your heart…do not be troubled
or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or
vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your
Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection?
Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of
my arms? Is there anything else you need?”
As we light the Advent Candle this Sunday and approach the great feast of Christmas let us all take time to enjoy the real meaning of Advent and Christmas.
God bless you,