READINGS: Zephaniah 3:14-18a; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18
Shout for joy, O Daughter Zion! Fear not, be not discouraged! Your kindness should be known to all; have no anxiety at all.
When fear overrides our good fortune, and terror by night and by day shrinks our courage, this shouting for joy seems too much to expect. But let there be hope.
When vileness spews hatred from social media, when violence seems stronger than freedom’s zeal, vengeance for threats sounds like bravery. This call to Daughter Zion seems shocking: “Cry out with joy and gladness.” My own first reaction is: “You gotta be kidding!”
But a flashback to childhood recalls a booklet about “Little Nellie of Holy God,” a little girl who knew and proclaimed Jesus as “Holy God” in the midst of those in the orphanage. Her happiness was contagious. After her death her story, it is said, moved Pope Pius X to lower the age for first communion.
I remember her as we hear in today’s scripture readings: “Your kindness should be known to all; the LORD is near! Have no anxiety at all.” Isaiah urges: “Shout with exultation…great in your midst is the Holy One.”
“What should we do?” said the crowds around John the Baptist.
What should we do? If you have what you need, share with those others in need.
Got enough to eat? Share groceries and goodies, potatoes and meat.
Government employees: no under-the-table quirks; give true value in your works.
Journalists, reporters, editors, announcers: forget the hype, give us real truth.
Military, security, police: don’t abuse your authority or flaunt your seniority.
“Be satisfied with your wages.” [THAT’S the joke of the ages!] Put people before profit. Yes, John was a prophet who preached good news to people who were filled with expectations, all asking in their hearts: is this the Christ?
What is your heart asking now? Let the Star of Morning light your way. REJOICE.
–Sister Eileen T. Kelly, SC
Sister Eileen is a teacher who served for many years in New York and in the Bahamas.
Beautiful and meaningful
Thanks for sharing. This is very good REAL news!
Eileen, you are a woman of peace and justice, always there for the people. A memory I shared on my own Facebook page is when Sr. Florence and I were down on Cat Island visiting you during a tropical depression. You invited a family to stay with us in your small home since they were flooded out of their own home. When rains stopped you took Florcence and me around the island to ask families how they were and identify needs. Thank you, Eileen.
Sister,your reflection calls to mind words YOU spoke to us each day as we prayed to begin our class…”Let’s not make this an empty gesture.” I have quoted them often…a great lesson to share
Do not be anxious….fear not…May the good work God has begun in you come to fruition.
Thank you Sister Eileen for those thought provoking lessons…you made a difference in my life and to the lives of many others.
SAC Class of 88
Dearest Sr Eileen
Your reflection brings back many memories of our years at SAC and our provocative discussions in the staff room.
You have always expressed concern for others and the environment.
You have truly been a blessing to all who were privileged to have known you.
Lots of love
My high school teacher in The Bahamas. Hi Sister Eileen!!❤️
Great Reflection, Eileen. Thank you. Christmas & 2019 Blessings