My dear GEM Family:
Advent has been a season of hope and anticipation as we prepared for the coming of Jesus as our Incarnate Savior and Lord. It is now Christmas – the ever-present and ever-continuing time of Christ, from now till forever. Through His birth, heading inexorably toward His sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection, Jesus has established the Kingdom of God in our midst. He is now our Ascended Risen Lord, interceding for us before the throne of God, and He will come again to judge the living and the dead. The daily Mass readings have taken us on this compelling and victorious journey into the heart of God through Jesus, our Savior and Lord, from His birth to His Second Coming. Let the words of John 1: 14, which capture the essence of this glorious mystery of God’s plan of salvation, nourish your soul during the season of Christmas:
“And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.”
Last month we informed you of our decision to offer you a written and audio version of our daily Spiritual Companioning Reflections. Beginning Monday, December 31, 2018, we will offer you both formats. We have begun posting an archive of all our SCRs on our website:
. Please take advantage of this resource to nourish your soul. Again, we request you to send to
email addresses of family and friends who would be interested in receiving our weekly SCR’s. With the archive at their disposal, anyone can determine the start date as well as the various legs of their journey into the heart of God through our SCR ministry. We believe that our SCR ministry will help many, individually and in small groups created by individual initiatives, to develop and deepen their commitment to becoming saints under the direction of the Holy Spirit.
As we get ready for the new calendar year of 2019, we are filled with expectant hope that many hearts will be touched through our various ministries. We have populated our calendar in Texas with day seminars, day retreats, weekend silent retreats, retreat sleepovers for high school students at our Center, and weekly Prayer Gatherings. GEM in Michigan is organizing a weekend retreat at Notre Dame University Campus, March 1-3, 2019. I am confident that this initiative will be the harbinger of many more in the future. The Holy Spirit continues to initiate movements in various members of our GEM family, inspiring them to reach out and witness to Catholics in our parishes through individual contact or inviting them to form or join small groups. These initiatives are bearing fruit as our small groups are expanding.
As of January 2019, GEM will be introducing a new ministry called Shed Light, Conquer Darkness Book Program. These books will act as guides to illuminate the treasures of our Catholic Faith. The first two in print are, The Celebration of the Eucharist, and A School of Prayer and Holiness. The latter booklet helps to give us a true appreciation of our Catholic vocal prayers that we have prayed since childhood. We are convinced that when they are prayed with loving attention to the words and to God’s presence in our hearts, they unlock the treasures of God’s heart to us. We intend to bring out four such booklets a year. They will be the topics of our seminars and small groups. If you go to our website, you can view the advertisement for our first Seminar on Saturday, January 5, 2019 on The Celebration of the Mass. We continue to pray that various renewal events will continue to be initiated by the Holy Spirit in GEM. We do believe that God is asking GEM to become the leaven that will invigorate the dough, the Body of Christ, in our local parishes and dioceses.
You will receive this newsletter during the season of Christmas. As we celebrate Jesus’ First Coming, hopefully, you will have received a progressively deeper appreciation of God’s gift of His Son to us, creating within you a more generous offering of yourself to Him. Furthermore, that you will live your daily life in constant readiness for Jesus’ Second Coming. The Church reminds us in one way or another that waiting for the eventual Coming of Jesus is a necessary disposition in a disciple. Please continue to pray for God’s Embrace Ministries, that we serve God’s covenant family wherever we are, generously and joyfully. May you be blessed in God’s Embrace! You are in our daily prayers.
Sincerely in Jesus Christ,