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December 12, 2023

Advent: A Time to Pause and Reflect

“It may seem counterintuitive because it is such a busy time of year, but this is precisely the time when we hear the invitation to pause, stop and reflect,” said Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, talking about Advent. “Decide on a particular time of day and particular place. Carve out even five minutes of silent listening, pausing, and reflecting to let in what God is trying to say to us in this very special time.”

Sr. Barbara, President of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and past president of the Catholic Biblical Association was this year’s speaker for the Advent Hour of Recollection for province employees and other collaborators. Held by Zoom, the presentation took place November 30 and included participants from throughout the province.

“We are entering into Year B, focused on the Gospel of Mark,” Sr. Barbara continued. “I invite you to sit down sometime in the next week and read the whole Gospel in one sitting. One of the things that typically happens to us is that we only hear snippets of the Gospel on Sunday. If we read the full Gospel, we will have a sense of how these pieces fit into the whole story.”

The Gospel of Mark, continued Sr. Barbara, describes a “very human Jesus, and very human and fallible disciples. In some ways, I like this Gospel the best because when we think of our own frailties and our inability to be as faithful as we would like to be I find great comfort in knowing that the disciples in Mark’s Gospel also had those struggles but kept on following Jesus…

“What I see in the Advent readings is a pointing to God who is already in our midst, Christ already in our midst. The Eucharist is the most powerful expression of celebrating Christ being in our midst. It reminds us and gives us the grace to see clearly how Christ is already here, has never left us… the Reign of God that he proclaimed is not fully complete in our midst. What we celebrate now is a foretaste of the conclusion for which we long and hope.”

Besides serving as President of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Sr. Barbara is an accomplished educator, author and speaker.


CLICK HERE or on the video above to view a recording of the Zoom event.

Today, December 5 Sr. Barbara will present a second Hour of Recollection that is for SCJs. It begins at 10:00 a.m. (central). SCJs received the Zoom link in an email this morning; it is also available on the front page of the Members section of the province website.


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