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Advent Day 23: Reflect

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Editor’s note: Jeff Sved, FMS returned missioner and board member offers an Advent reflection on the word ‘reflect’. 

What we reflect on is ultimately what we reflect to others. 

As Sister Clare encouraged Agnes of Prague in her second letter, we are called to  “Gaze upon Christ, Consider Christ, Contemplate Christ, and to Imitate Christ”.



Or, in a shorter mantra: 








When we reflect on Christ, that is ultimately what we reflect to the world around us. 

As we Gaze upon the incarnate Christ this Christmas season, let that move us to actively Imitate Christ in our lives. As we reflect on the meaning of Christmas, let us also reflect outwardly that incarnate love. 

You may notice with Sister Clare’s Gaze-Consider-Contemplate-Imitate that the balance is three parts “internal action” and one part “external action”. It is not simply to Gaze and Imitate, it is the process of gazing, considering, and contemplating that makes it possible for to imitate Christ. 

For the past five years, as part of FMS’s three month Formation program for overseas lay mission, I’ve joined the missioners for a discussion on the balance between contemplation and action. How important that reflection in our daily lives is! It is what guides our actions. 

What are you reflecting on during this Christmas season? How are those inner reflections being reflected outwardly?

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Jeff Sved served in Cochabamba, Bolivia, from 2013-2016. His main ministry was working with inmates in seven prisons throughout Cochabamba.

Prior to joining FMS he served in Wilmington, Del., with Franciscan Volunteer Ministry teaching math in a prison and teaching English to members of the Latino community. Originally from Pittsburgh, Penn., and a graduate of Villanova University.