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The Catholic Women's League of Canada is a national organization rooted in gospel values calling its members to holiness through service to the People of God.

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Hamilton Diocesan CWL

Celebrating 100 years of service in 2020

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Dear Sisters in the League,

Advent is a season of great expectations. For many of us, the anticipation manifests itself in the seasonal busyness of shopping, baking, decorating and merry-making. There is a different look and feel in our days because we know that Christmas is coming.

The Church has identified the beginning of the Christmas celebration with a time of reflection and expectation—called Advent. The Word Advent means "coming" or "arrival" and when used in conjunction with Christmas, reminds us of the anticipation and expectation, held over hundreds of years by the people of Israel for their Messiah and promised King.

Advent is a prime opportunity to affirm the promise of Jesus that just as He came once, He would one day in the future return to the earth as Sovereign Ruler.

In these days of tragedy, uncertainty and conflicts throughout the world, let the Church arise to her renewed hope and expectancy. In this Advent season, may we be even more encouraged, hopeful and purposeful, looking with passion for the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are encouraged to postpone our thoughts of Santa Claus, Christmas shopping and seasonal decorations, and think instead about the four themes of Advent: hope, love, joy and peace.

One of these themes is love. Absolute love does not come wrapped in packages placed under a Christmas tree. Instead, it comes in the form of acts of selflessness, earnest, heartfelt service offered up to one another with no expectation of anything in return.

Advent challenges us to revisit and maybe revise our Christmas shopping list. Consider a gift of money to the homeless, or a gift of time to a neighbourhood soup kitchen that will be serving Christmas dinner to the homeless on Christmas Day.

Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein express this thought:

A bell´s not a bell ´til you ring it,
A song´s not a song ´til you sing it.
Love in your heart wasn´t put there to stay,
Love isn't love 'til you give it away!

May our lives, our thoughts, and our words, reflect our desire for the soon-coming return of Jesus, our glorious King.

Joan Schurter
Hamilton Diocesan President

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