This message for the month of December 2018 contains three points: to make the exhortation of Pope Francis on this first Sunday of Advent our own, to offer a word to the young women, and to give thanks.
The Pope reminded us of Jesus' words, "Stay awake and pray" (Mt 26:41), to prepare us for Christmas. To stay awake is to open ourselves to our brothers and sisters who are scourged by hunger, injustice, war, and abandonment; and today we could add children and women who are discriminated against, objectified and abused. Advent is an opportune time to open our arms wide, as the horizontal beam of the cross that WUCWO is called to extend to meet those who have not yet experienced our loving closeness.
And pray. For what is more important than the encounter with Jesus? Generally speaking, those who do not pray don’t do so because they do not have time, but because they do not love. How opportune it will be to ask the Holy Spirit to wait for Christmas by identifying ourselves with the interior of Mary, pregnant, in her intimate and vital dialogue with the Lord inside her! And so, to fill our pitcher with "Living Water," as WUCWO women who dedicate ourselves to PRAY and LOVE.
The brief message to the young women - which we also say to ourselves, the elders - is: don't let Advent and Christmas be stolen from you! Don't let the gifts, the food and drink, and the celebrations be exempt from the essential; don’t let them be "worldly" and therefore empty of content. You are responsible for the Child God coming to occupy the central place of the celebrations, giving new light to the world thirsting for peace.
And I end with a thank you to our Good Father who gave us the General Assembly of Dakar and the post-Assembly, in which we already began to work in the "new team." We received, among others, contributions from the Vice-President General for the minutes, from the Ecclesiastical Assistant for the prayers, from the WUCWO Youth Committee for the Advent calendar, from Viviane from Lebanon for the Pope’s daily tweets in several languages, from many Board Members for the Newsletter, and from our staff and translators for offering all the material of the Assembly, in our three languages, on our website. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for enriching each other.
May you have a fruitful Advent and a Holy Christmas to love and pray!
Recommended readings for reading, reflecting, praying and experimenting:
- Gospel according to St. Mathew 1, (26-38) and 2, (1-7)
- Gaudete et exultate, 95-109
- Angelus Pope Francis, Sunday December 2th 2018