I have always been an “Advent wreath sort of person.” The symbolism of the greenery and the circle with the candles of purple and pink really speak to me.
Before entering the Monastery I would have a wreath in my apartment and in my classroom. Since coming to St. Scholastica Monastery I have continued the tradition, even making a construction paper Advent wreath and hanging it on the door of my bedroom.
But this year I am mixing it up. I am stepping into another Advent tradition – the Jesse Tree. The idea of the Jesse Tree comes from Isaiah 11:1-3 where God promises a discouraged nation that the glory they remember from King David’s time will come again. God promised that they will have another king from the line of Jesse (the father of King David). As Christians we see that promised king fulfilled in Jesus. To remember God’s promises we decorate a tree (or in my case my bedroom door) with ornaments, symbols of what God did to bring about our salvation.
In my job as Pastoral Associate at St. Lawrence and St. Joseph, I led our Religious Education families in a mini-workshop on the tradition of the Jesse Tree. I shared with the parents and children the history of the Jesse Tree, as well as the Biblical significance, and I showed them how they can use it to celebrate Advent and prepare for the coming of the Savior.
It was because I was so edified by the interest and excitement of the families that I have decided to make the change and become a “Jesse Tree sort of person.”
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
Sister Lisa Maurer
Sister Lisa Maurer was born and raised in Sleep Eye, Minnesota. Before entering the Monastery in 2007, she taught and coached in Catholic Schools within the New Ulm Diocese. Sister Lisa Made her Perpetual Monastic Profession in July ll, 2012. Her first ministry as a Benedictine Sister was working at the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth. Currently she is Director of Mission Integration for the Benedictine Health System.