Dear Friends,

Many of you may not be aware of how 'radically' our final weeks of Advent have taken shape. This past week we traveled to Philadelphia to mourn and to celebrate Ron's 68 year old brother Tom, who died of a heart attack a week ago. Tom's death was a shock, and it's 'unimaginable' nature pulled our energy away from the "anticipation' aspect of Advent and into the eschatological space of mourning. We emerged from this very meaning-full time of remembrance to settle into the hospital for Ron's much needed, but 'not-anticipated-at-this-time', knee replacement surgery. It seems just when we think we have life 'under control' it throws us a curve. If Ron and I feel this unsettled as 'seasoned' adults, imagine how the young Mary felt with the 'unanticipated' visit of an angel, and the request to let God enter into her life in such an unanticipated way.

Just as we expect that Mary was uplifted by the kind and insightful words of her cousin, Elizabeth, and by Joseph's continuing 'holding' of her, so have we found hope and strength in well wishes from those aware of our recent life events. The love and care extended to us is a manifestation of God's love in our lives. You are embodying God's love and we are profoundly strengthened by your 'presence'.

As we continue our reflection on the words of Oscar Romero during this Advent season, his words of early December 1978 speak powerfully to us today:

"Some want to keep a gospel so disembodied that it doesn't get involved at all in the world it must save.

Christ is now in history.

Christ is in the womb of the people.

Christ is now bringing about the new heaven and the new earth." (December 3, 1978)

"Christ is in the womb of the people." What does it mean for us as a people to be the "womb of Christ"? A womb is the place where life begins and is nurtured and nourished. How are we nurturing and nourishing Christ into life in our world today?

We pray that this sacred season is bringing you more deeply into a place of rejuvenation of faith, and an awareness that we are called to "embody" Christ in our lives.

Reminder: Our liturgy will be held at 4:00PM during the remainder of Fall and Winter months.

Wishing you peace and joy in this final Advent week.

Jean & Ron