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To: All
Saturday, December 9
First Saturday of Advent

Absolute Generosity and Abundance

Christ’s tremendous compassion for human weakness stands out in the Gospels. Time and again we see his tender mercy in the face of our frailty and suffering. While it hurts our pride – no doubt a good thing! -- to admit it, we truly are the lost sheep; we don’t know what to do with ourselves, we go this way and that, we try to live according to our own devices – and fall. Today is the feast day of Saint Juan Diego, the humble Mexican who saw a vision of Our Lady of Guadalupe, now America’s patroness. Mary gave him a cape full of roses to help convince the bishop of the apparition’s authenticity. Nowadays, we have flowers flown in from all parts of the world and so out of season blooms are not so surprising. But in Diego’s day, a mantle full of fresh roses was a singular sign in December, evidence of something extraordinary, something beyond human devices. Winter roses are not merely a spectacular sight they are also a beautiful sign of God’s favor. Mary chose to make herself known to Juan Diego through an extraordinary gift, a gift that later transformed itself into an image of herself that time has not destroyed – one that points to the absolute generosity and abundance that Christ brings into our lives. Into lives of nothingness and confusion he brings joy and light and love.

Reflection based on Matthew 9:35, 10:1, 5a, 6-8

Rebecca Vitz Cherico

Loving Father, amidst the confusion and powerlessness of my life let me experience the light and love of your Son.

45 posted on 12/09/2006 10:30:42 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All


Week 2: Second Sunday of Advent

Prayer for the Advent Wreath

Lord, our God, we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people.
He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us.
He is the Savior of us all.
O Lord,
let your blessing come upon us as we light the first and second (purple) candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise of salvation.
May He come quickly and not delay.
We ask this in His holy name. Amen.



 We light a candle today, a small dim light against a world that often seems forbidding and dark. But we light it because we are a people of hope, a people whose faith is marked by an expectation that we should always be ready for the coming of the Master. The joy and anticipation of this season is captured beautifully in the antiphons of hope from the monastic liturgies:

See! The ruler of the earth shall come,  the Lord who will take from us the heavy burden of our exile
The Lord will come soon, will not delay.
The Lord will make the darkest places bright.
We must capture that urgency today in the small flame of our candle. We light the candle because we know that the coming of Christ is tied to our building of the kingdom. Lighting the flame, feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, reconciling the divided, praying for the repentant, greeting the lonely and forgotten – doing all these works hastens His coming.


46 posted on 12/09/2006 10:32:56 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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