Our Christian Call
For the 38th year, the Holy Cross community gathered in St. Joseph Memorial Chapel to celebrate Advent and anticipate Christmas with our annual Festival of Lessons and Carols. Interspersing familiar Scripture passages with religious hymns, we stepped away from the intensity of our busy schedules to reflect on the meaning of this sacred season as we celebrate Christ’s coming into our lives and our world. Over the past few years, especially, the Worcester community has discovered the beauty of this annual ritual and has joined us in great numbers. In fact, it is now necessary to arrive 20 to 30 minutes early to find a good seat! And each year, we appreciate the skill and artistry of the Holy Cross Choir and Chamber Singers, the Holy Cross Chamber Orchestra and our student organists who, with the liturgical leadership of our campus chaplains, welcome us into this evening of prayer.
As we sang the traditional hymn, “Savior of the Nations, Come,” I was moved by the phrase: “From God’s heart the Savior speeds, Back to God his pathway leads…”, which reminded me of the gift of God’s love for us and of our Christian call to find our life’s meaning and purpose in serving our world as Jesus did: caring for the vulnerable, the forgotten and the needy. On a campus where we are privileged to live and study with bright and enthusiastic students, with talented and inspiring faculty and with generous and skilled staff, it is very easy to get so caught up with the tasks at hand that we can miss why we are here. Therefore, in events like Lessons and Carols and through our extensive retreat programs, we are given time to discern how we are invited to use the gifts we have been given. With our treasured education, how can we thoughtfully share in Jesus’ work to companion, to listen, to serve and to lead our world back to those eternal truths that shape who we are as a community?
As the service began, Marybeth Kearns-Barrett, the director of our College chaplains, not only welcomed those of us physically present, but also those across the country who were joining us online to celebrate the season. At least three to four times as many of us who are present in the Chapel join us from afar, and it is a wonderful blessing that technology can unite us in such a moving way during Advent.
As we celebrate the Christmas season and welcome a new year, thank you for your extraordinary generosity in supporting the work of the College. I am grateful to all of you for the thoughtful ways you are using the gifts of your Holy Cross education to transform our world. I pray that you and your family will be blessed with creative hope and generous hearts as we face the year ahead. ■
Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.