Franciscan Footprints

Sister Josepha

I can remember when I was about 5 or 6 years old and it was Christmas morning.  I was so excited to wake up and explore all the new gifts under the Christmas tree for me.  While I was enjoying them with my younger brother, my Dad said to both of us.  “Now I want you to select one of your new toys and bring it to the family down the street that has a lot less than you have.”  That wasn’t easy to do, to give away something new I had just received, but down the street I went with my brother.  We knocked on the door and shared our gifts and the special feeling I had in my heart walking back home was something I will never forget.

When I was a young Sister in our Community I was very close to one of our older Sisters, Sister M. Josepha.  She had such a kind heart and the warmest smile.  I loved spending time with her.  One day while I was visiting with her, she opened a drawer in her bedroom and handed me a beautifully hand-knitted brown vest that her sister in Germany had made for her.  It felt so soft and new.  Right away, I said “No, this is too special and must mean so much to you.  You keep it!”  She smiled at me so gently and said, “Don’t you always give the best away?”  And she quickly went on to something else, taking for granted that I did the same.  Well, she wasn’t exactly right.  I still had lots to learn.

Often I would give what I had in excess, or what was extra and beyond what I needed.  Seemed generous to me at the time, but didn’t quite meet Sister’s standard.  I was giving, but not my BEST.  I’m getting better.

I was thinking about my personal time.  That is a precious gift God gives us each and every new day.  How I use that time can be my gift back to Him; it needs to be my BEST.  My questions to myself might be helpful to you as well.  How do I use that time?  Do I give my BEST to others, even when it challenges my own personal agenda?  I still have much to learn.  I believe so strongly that the more we give of ourselves, and give ourselves away in love and service to others, the more of EVERYTHING God sends our way.  That’s pretty hard to top!

We are in the beautiful season of Advent that is preparing us for the celebration of Christmas, the birth of Christ.  It’s pretty obvious that God sent us His very BEST.  He didn’t hold anything back, but sent his very own Son for all of us.

During this special time of the year, let’s reflect on this awesome Mystery of Love and learn every day how to give our BEST to our families and loved ones, our OSF Mission Partners or our co-workers, and all those God gives us the privilege to serve.

Blessed Advent. Come, Lord Jesus!

Blessed Christmas.  Welcome, Lord Jesus!

Pax et bonum,

Sister Judith Ann, O.S.F.

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