Sister Barbara Staley, MSC General Superior

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas. To all All Sisters, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Cabrinian Lay Missionaries, our mission co-workers and all of you who are listening today. The Advent season has just ended and now Christmas is upon us. Advent has been a time of waiting, a time of becoming aware that we need Jesus, that we are waiting for his coming again. We are not just waiting to celebrate His historic birth, but we are waiting for Jesus to come into the world again. However He is already present in the world through us. We need to be part of this Advent dream, to be the ones who can bring Jesus into the world today, that is our calling.

How can we do this? 

It is through the way we treat each other, it is through our small acts of kindness, greeting a stranger on the street, recognizing the homeless man on the corner and looking him in the eye and treating him as a real person, not as  disposable people, which the Holy Father also talks about.

He is visiting a shut-in elderly person who has lost family and friends and cannot live alone in his home, and we are going to visit him.

It is to put an end to gossip, and the damage we do to another person’s reputation, when we spread nastiness about another person. My mother always told me, “Barbara, if you don’t have something good to say about someone, don’t say it at all.” And I think this is a good lesson for all of us. How to build someone’s reputation, rather than damage it.

We help bring Jesus into the world by the way we exercise our privileges in the political arena, advocating for policies and legislation that are for the greatest common good, for the good of as many discerning people as possible, even if perhaps what we advocate or promote does not benefit us individually, or perhaps does not benefit us as a country, but is for the greater good of more people, and perhaps requires some sacrifice on our part. 

But we can push ourselves outside of ourselves, transcend our self-interest and think “what is the good of all?”

It is truly treating all members of the body of Christ equally and authentically through concrete actions that embrace all as sisters and brothers, welcoming the stranger in our midst. 

We also bring Jesus into the world in this pandemic time, vaccinating for Covid, wearing masks, keeping social distances, testing frequently. And there could be so many other ways. 

We are the hands, heart and spirit of that Child born more than 2,000 years ago. Thank you for your goodness and witness of love toward others. Thank you for giving your life to Jesus for all of us in the world

Wishing you all a happy, healthy Christmas full of love and joy in the New Year.

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