In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Dear Friends, during the Christmas season, we celebrate the God who promises and who fulfils His promise in time.
The God who is faithful to His promise regardless of our unfaithfulness. The God who blesses us and whose faces shines upon us through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ.; to the point that we cannot get over it! Because it is a deep act of love, we do not deserve but it is with us- it overwhelms us and humbles us; we can only lift our heads to look at the face of God in gratitude for such an immense, and unconditional Love! What does it mean to have God’s face shine on us? It means God is intentional in choosing us and entrusting us with the mission to be a blessing to his people just as Moses and Aaron were.
Do you recall the story of Moses in the Book of Exodus, whenever Moses come out from the tent of meeting with God, His face was dazzling bright that blinded the children of Israel, Moses had to cover his face to be able to meet and pass the Word of God to the the children of Israel outside the tent.
In the Incarnation of His son Jesus Christ, Emmanuel: GOD WITH US, we see the unfailing love, blessing and indeed the face of God shinning mercifully upon us, God, the WORD BECAME FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US. We are so blest and privileged to behold the face of God daily in his Word, and especially in the Holy Eucharist! The Body and Blood of Christ! We behold the face of God in our brothers and sisters who are in need of spiritual, physical and social support. We behold the face of God in His Creation, so might and beautiful!
Today we celebrate and appreciate the blessing of God that has come down to us through a woman, the most beloved Daughter of God, the spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and Our Mother. The second reading invites us to contemplate on this fact: The Son of God, born of a woman! Born subject to the Law, so that we can become adopted children of God; We are no longer slaves but children and heir through Jesus Christ Son of God and Son of Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother. Mary who keeps and contemplates the mystery of God-made-man in her heart, she reflects and ponders these mysteries in her heart, so that she can constantly behold the face of God and understand God’s Love and mercy, his blessings for her and all God’s Children! No wonder, “ALL GENERATIONS CALL HER BLEST. Through the Blessed Virgin Mary, we have each individually, been blest beyond compare. We in turn are called to be a blessing to others. How?
A blessing is a gift that we receive but it’s also a gift that we are called to share with to other people. We each like the Blessed Virgin Mary need to discover what God is calling each one of us to give of ourselves to God and to other people. This blessing is so evident during this Christmas season
· We have exchanged gifts not only to family and friends but also those who have no family and friends
· We have had visit from friends and family
· Christmas is a time of vacation from daily work routines, it’s time to slow down and rest and spent quality time with family, friends and with neighbor
As we step on the threshold of 2020, I invite you to bless each other and everyone you meet: physically, spiritually using the Blessing instruction God gave Aaron through Moses:
MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU
MAY THE LORD LET HIS FACE SHINE UPON YOU AND BE GRACIOUS TO YOU
MAY THE LORD UNCOVER HIS FACE TO YOU AND BRING YOU PEACE
Draru Mary Cecilia, LSMIG
Sister Draru Mary Cecilia (Ph.D.), is of the Congregation Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu (LSMIG) in Uganda. She is the Executive Director of African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC) based at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania (USA). As the Executive Director of ASEC, Sister Draru oversees Education for Catholic Sisters in 10 African Countries. For more information about ASEC please visit www.asec-sldi.org
Sister Draru has great passion for education of women in Africa. She holds two diplomas in education and another in educational planning and management. Sr Draru holds Bachelor’s degree in Education (2003), Masters in Development Studies (2007), and PhD in Social Science (2017) from Radboud University Nijmegen- the Netherlands. In her research, Sr Draru highlights resilience of women in Africa and how they constantly negotiate their socio-cultural contexts in order to build successful educational and professional careers. Being a woman of career herself, Sr Draru has spent most of her life in advocating for women’s education in Uganda. She spent 10 years teaching in girl’s secondary school (1993-2003), 15 years working at Uganda Martyrs University UMU). At UMU, Sister Draru advanced from the position of Executive Secretary, lecturer, Associate Director in the Institute of Ethics and Development Studies, to the University Management position of the Dean of Students. Sister Draru has vast international pastoral experience in Africa, Europe where she was actively involved in the rescue of girls trafficked into Italy from Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America. She is the chairperson of the Board of Trustee of LSMIG. She is a founding member of Angelo Negri education Center (ANEC), which specializes in education of child mothers. She is the Leader of the Mission of the Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate of Gulu in the United States of America.
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