Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel, North Sydney.

Christmas is near. With such joy, we celebrate the birth of a Child, a reminder that we are all children of a lavishly loving God who, in Jesus, chose to have no boundaries between divinity and humanity!

Following Jesus, Mary MacKillop lived in a way that held no boundaries around her love for God and her love for humanity. Love is love is Love.

As Sister Marie Foale has shared with us, when Mary MacKillop was visiting families of the children attending the Hall School in Adelaide, she noticed a number of poorly clad children playing in the streets. She invited them to come to the school, making sure that their parents understood that they did not have to pay. Sadly, they informed Mary that this was not possible as they had no suitable clothes. Mary took immediate action. She put an advertisement in the local Catholic paper asking for secondhand clothes to be delivered to the Hall so that she, the Sisters and the older students, could cut them down and then make them up for the street children. The response to her call was so successful that within six months, the enrolment in the Hall school had gone from around 60 to 200!

People saw this indiscriminate, lavish squandering of time and energy, of encouragement and generosity; not looking for fault but for affirmation and new life! People saw and wondered, “What’s going on here! Who is this woman?”

Christmas is the feast of plenty! It is the celebration of Love that makes sure that rain falls on the scattered seeds of humanity no matter where they have fallen: on barren soil, among thorns, along hardened pathways or in lush, green pastures.

So, to the profoundly beautiful call of Christmas!

Like Mary MacKillop, are we prepared to be as unjust as our God who makes rain to fall on the deserving and undeserving alike?

As I go about my daily life and see someone who is struggling among the thorns of her anxieties or depression, can I drop a little rain? Or, one who is walking the path of ill health, can I drop a little rain? Or, one who is sitting on a rock of hard times. Can I share my little store of rain? Or, if I see someone enjoying good times, can I share in the joy and laughter and even dance with them?

We, like Mary MacKillop, are called to join in this mad dancing in the lovingly unconditional rain!

Blessed Advent! Happy Christmas!

Sr Emilie Cattalini