Sunday, December 1, 2013

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

Today marks the beginning of Advent. While I am fully embracing my "Beach Boys Holiday" Pandora radio station and strings of lights and ornaments, I am reminded of the true purpose of Advent. It is easy to fall into the mindset  that Advent is merely a countdown until Christmas. However, Advent is so much more than that. It is a reminder that Jesus calls us to watch in great anticipation for the most important event of all - His return in glory at the end of time! The Advent season reminds us that we are living in the end of times. The end of times begins with the first coming of Christ, His incarnation and birth in Bethlehem. The second advent is the arrival of Jesus Christ in the heart of the believer. The third, culminates in His final return - the second coming when Jesus will return in all His glory.  We must always be prepared for Christ to come, because "we do not know the day, nor the hour." (Matthew 24:36) 
Jesus' coming is good news! God is all merciful and he gives us the grace to turn away from sin and lovingly embrace Him with our whole lives. He gives us fresh hope each day so that we can keep our eyes on the eternal reward awaiting us, God himself. The source of all truth, beauty, and goodness, and the fullness of undying love and abundant life that never ends. Advent is a time to place our hope firmly in God and His kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy! As we begin a new Church year, let's refocus our eyes on Christ in hopeful anticipation of meeting Him face to face. 

In other exciting news, Papa Francesco has released a new document titled Evangelii Gaudium, meaning "The Joy of the Gospel." It is his first apostolic exhortation, and it is devoted to the theme of the New Evangelization. As a FOCUS missionary, this document is connects with my heart in a profound way. But  what I love about this document is that he is addressing the ENTIRE CHURCH. Pope Francis makes it very clear: Every Baptized member of the Catholic faith is called to evangelize and is called to be a missionary disciple. In Matthew 28:19 we hear the Great Commision: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Jesus isn't speaking to a select few, this is a call to all of us.
If you would like to learn more about this document, check out a FOCUS blog post by Kevin Cotter here! While it is a long document, I highly recommend you reading Evangelii Gaudium as well. I've only reached page 27 so far, but it's totally rocking my world. A must read. 

And now for an update on what has been going on with FOCUS at ASU!

Fro yo outting with Bible Study girls.

I so enjoyed our FOCUS West Regional gathering in San Diego. It was so good to see several missionary friends and to bounce outreach ideas off one another.
A little adventure to the "Secret Garden" on ASU's campus.

The Newman Center revealed a mural that will be placed in the church at the "Divine Beauty" night!

I was blessed to have had the opportunity to serve FOCUS at the Denver Interview Weekend. We had two students from ASU interview! 

My girls and I enjoyed a picnic in the park on Veteran's Day.

FOCUS held a "Get to Know Momma Mary Night" at Fuzzy's. Students were given the opportunity to learn more about who Mary is and different Marian apparations.

Some girls in my disciple chain and I went to the Hunger Games: Catching Fire midnight premiere! Sooo good!!

We celebrated Angelica's 19th birthday with a tea party at her home.

Love making new Nebraska friends. :)

We have started "Catholic Jenga Tuesdays" on campus. This giant jenga game has questions about the faith on each block. It's a great attention grabber and conversation starter!

We recently had our November Upper Room event for our student missionaries. I led the event which was focused on the Gospel and how to present it. 

My discipleship chain enjoyed some ice cream at the Sugar Bowl in Old Town Scottsdale!

Since I wasn't able to make it home for Thanksgiving, I was invited to celebrate the holiday with my dear friend and fellow missionary, Jess Kunz! Her family was so welcoming and wonderful. We even enjoyed a taste of country at a bull riding bar!

Wishing you a blessed Advent season,


  1. Whoa Emily I had no idea that you had a blog! That jenga evangelization idea just blew my mind.. such a great idea!

    1. Chris! I didn't know that YOU had a blog?!?!?!? Totally blog-geeking out over your analytical and logical perspectives in contrast to my creative, totally right brained thoughts. So excited to read. :)

  2. I look forward to reading this each time you post it :) God sure does love you! Keep smiling beautiful you are doing wonderful things my dear!