Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Nativity Vigil

Matthew 1:1-25

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Ellen Keane

Published: December 24, 2014

In this Gospel, Matthew offers a family record of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham. Matthew first highlights the journey of the ancestors — a journey that took flesh over centuries… Just names, some known, many unknown…  a long and rather boring list to wade through, and yet, it contains a rich lineage of relationships that links to Mary’s Joseph.

Then Matthew brings us to the birth of Jesus. He introduces us to Joseph, dreamer of dreams, who meets God. Joseph, certain of God’s goodness and fidelity, moves into an unknown future

Two things strike me as I reflect on this passage: First, Joseph’s dream reminds me of our co-foundresses of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, St. Julie Billiart and Françoise Blin de Bourdon. They were women of dreams who brought the Sisters to Namur and into an unknown future, far beyond whatever they might have ever imagined. Secondly, Joseph’s ancestry reminds me of our Notre Dame ancestry. Our family record began with Julie and Françoise; the lineage of our countless ancestors of Sisters of Notre Dame from all over the globe, known and unknown. Their fidelity, in the best of times and the worst of times, has brought us to this night when Christ’s birth continues to take place in untold ways. We are all reminded again of our daily Journey of Fidelity. We all have links and a lineage to the goodness of God that takes flesh in our lives.

The Church celebrates 2014-2015 with women and men religious, in this Year of Consecrated Life. In fidelity to our calling, as Sisters of Notre Dame, we pray: “Open our eyes, ears and hearts to ever new understandings of our call to be consecrated apostolic women who participate with men women and children in shaping a new earth of life-giving relationships…”

We pray that all those who visit our Web sites may be instruments of God in shaping a new world of “relationships rooted in compassion, love, mercy and peace.”




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