ADVENT MESSAGE FROM NOTRE DAME OF JERUSALEM CENTER
By Fr. David Steffy, L.C., Chargé of the Holy See
December 2nd, 2021 - Advent Newsletter I Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center
Dear friends of Notre Dame,
Since we are now in the first week of Advent, I want to send you my cordial greetings and best wishes that this season may truly be a time of inner renewal for each of you.
The liturgies of these weeks focus on God’s promise to those who believe. His promise is not just a commitment to watch over us and guide us from his perch in heaven but based in the sacrificial love of sending his beloved Son to show us how to be loved and to love. His promise is the gift of Himself through the child Jesus. Entering the heart of the Father, filled with love for his Son and the world he created, is the best way for each of us to accept the gift of His Son with greater intimacy this Advent Season. This Child wants to fill our hearts with his salvific presence as the answer to all our deepest desires and longings.
This Child wants to fill our hearts with his salvific presence as the answer to all our deepest desires and longings.
Photo: Madonna and Child, Wix Media
Accepting more personally the reality of the Father’s gift of his Son to each of us will help us to live and love with stronger faith and hope no matter the harsh realities of our daily life. It seems clear that the problems that have come to the forefront during these past two years are not going to be resolved by political and scientific solutions alone. What keeps me going is knowing that the Lord’s plan takes into consideration the fallen nature of man. With Him, there is always a better way forward and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that better way is continually being revealed to us.
Everyone who walks through the gates of Notre Dame is a “Pilgrim”
Here at Notre Dame, we have been opening little by little over the last few months as more and more Pilgrims have been braving the new regulations to visit the Holy Land. The new Nuncio of the Vatican in the Holy Land, Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, arrived in September and has been to Notre Dame several times to celebrate Masses and interact with our Pilgrims. We offer daily adoration and Mass and quite a few people come daily here to pray and intercede before the Blessed Sacrament. We continue to educate local students in our school of culinary arts and have been blessed to host various conferences on important themes for the Church, society, and the Holy Land in particular. We are also finding that many of the locals are interested in knowing more about the mission of Notre Dame and we have been able to provide hospitality to individuals who would normally find the Guesthouse booked. I have come to realize that everyone who walks through the gates of Notre Dame is a “Pilgrim” searching for a truth that is often drowned out by the busyness and noise of the world.
the lesson is not to seek control but a deeper surrender of self in unconditional love to the needs of others
The latest news of COVID 19 seems to be just another setback to the last few years of setbacks. It is unfortunate that so many of our plans have been put on hold once again. Yet, the present moment is the space where we can always enter into the mystery of Christ’s presence and love. It is hard for each of us not having the control we feel necessary for our happiness and fulfilment. Perhaps, the lesson is not to seek control but a deeper surrender of self in unconditional love to the needs of others no matter the circumstances.
Please continue to pray for all of us in the Holy Land and for the mission of Christ and his Church in this very unique and special land.
God bless you all and count on a special place in my daily prayer before the Eucharist.
Sincerely in Christ,
Father David Steffy, L.C.
Chargé of the Holy See
Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center
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