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Advent Reflections for 2008
EWTN.com ^ | 2008 | EWTN

Posted on 11/29/2008 10:55:57 PM PST by Salvation

Advent  


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: advent; catholic; liturgy
Click here for the clickable Advent Calendar
1 posted on 11/29/2008 10:55:58 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...
















 



Week 1: First 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 (purple) candle 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.

 

Waiting

 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.



2 posted on 11/29/2008 10:57:28 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Thank you for posting this.


3 posted on 11/30/2008 6:58:44 AM PST by MaggieCarta (We're all Detroiters now.)
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To: Salvation

Bookmarked and appreciate your posting this. Thanks! Happy New Year!


4 posted on 11/30/2008 8:02:37 AM PST by voiceinthewind
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To: voiceinthewind; MaggieCarta

You’re welcome, you’re welcome!


5 posted on 11/30/2008 1:43:19 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
















 



Week 1: Monday

 Many peoples shall come and say: "Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths." For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)

Reflection

Christ is the ultimate center of meaning in the universe. It is through Christ that all people will be led to the Father. How can we hope to achieve a world in which all will seek the path of God? Only when men and women are working to achieve the unity that Christ’s redemption promises us.

Advent Action

Perform an act of kindness for someone you do not know.

Prayer

Lord, help me be at home with You, that I may listen to Your word and walk in Your way.



6 posted on 11/30/2008 7:17:16 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Hope renews itself in our hearts as we light the first Advent candle.


7 posted on 11/30/2008 8:27:58 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Salvation

How do you get the candle graphic to flicker like a real candle - looks real.


8 posted on 11/30/2008 8:33:35 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Salvation
I hope you will post each day's message during Advent.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

9 posted on 12/01/2008 3:19:30 AM PST by MaggieCarta (We're all Detroiters now.)
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To: Salvation

Thanks so much for posting this, FRiend.

After digging through my Advent stuff, I had decided to settle with reading from 2 booklets each evening. And I was not happy with either or with the combination.

Now, I can use these reflections.

God bless you.


10 posted on 12/01/2008 9:23:06 AM PST by Bigg Red (Palin in 2012!)
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To: Ciexyz

Just copied the graphic and it works.


11 posted on 12/01/2008 5:22:23 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Bigg Red



















 



Week 1: Tuesday
 

 Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. (Isaiah 11:6)

Reflection

The old joke about this passage is that the leopard might light down with the kid, but the kid won’t get much sleep. We chuckle at this because Isaiah gives us an image that goes against all our experience and expectations. Take note: the kingdom of God will not be how we expect it! Assumptions about natural friends and enemies are not true in the kingdom of God. What is the modern, urban equivalent of Isaiah’s pastoral image of lamb and wolf? Black and white folks breaking bread and worshipping together? A teenage delinquent and an older person sharing a cup of coffee? "The wolf shall be a guest of the lamb…"

Advent Action

Send a card to a friend or loved one who lost a family member during this year. Let them know you are praying from them and thinking of them this Christmas.

Prayer

Lord, help me welcome You once again and make room for You in my daily life, that You may make Your home in my heart.



12 posted on 12/01/2008 10:24:15 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Bigg Red
For the Tuesday in the first week of Advent -- from the First Reading for that day -- Dec. 2, 2008 --

Reading 1
Is 11:1-10

On that day,
A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A Spirit of counsel and of strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.

On that day,
The root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
The Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

13 posted on 12/01/2008 10:27:04 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Thanks for posting a new devotion each day.


14 posted on 12/02/2008 10:21:40 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz
















 



Week 1: Wednesday
 

 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. (Matthew 14: 19-20)

Reflection

During Advent we always consider the past, present, and future dimensions of Jesus’ coming. Jesus came to us at Bethlehem; He is risen and present in the world today; we look forward to His second coming.
In the miracle of the loaves and fishes, all these dimensions of time are also present. Jesus fed the people on the hillside that day, but He also prefigured the Eucharistic banquet, as well as the eternal banquet to which we are all invited. How are we to make this miracle real in the present? Just as Jesus asked the disciples that day in Galilee to distribute the food, it is our duty to act as the hands of Jesus today, bringing His gifts and presence to others.

Advent Action

Multiply your own resources (however great or small) to help the poor. Make a gift of your time or money to a charitable organization that helps the poor.

Prayer

Lord, may I be generous with others from the richness You have shared with me through Your goodness.



15 posted on 12/03/2008 10:47:42 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
















 



Week 1: Thursday

A nation of firm purpose You keep in peace; in peace for its trust in You. Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock. (Isaiah 26: 3-4)

Reflection

We cannot eliminate upsets and anxiety from our lives, but Advent is a good time to slow down and remember where we should look for stability and peace. Throughout these weeks of preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, the Scriptures for our liturgies tell us again and again to turn to God, to build our house on the rock of Jesus. Only there we will find peace.

Advent Action

Make a phone call. Call someone you have been meaning to speak to, but for some reason you have not done so.

Prayer

Lord, may I truly bring peace to others that I may be at peace with myself and one with You.



16 posted on 12/03/2008 10:48:52 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
This is the day the Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Praises to God as we light the Advent candle and count down to Christmas.
17 posted on 12/04/2008 2:40:16 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Salvation
The candle flames make bright our hearts as the gloom of early winter evenings descends. We celebrate anew the birth of Jesus the Christ, Amen!
18 posted on 12/04/2008 2:44:26 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz
















 



Week 1: Friday
 

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed (Him), crying out, "Son of David, have pity on us!" When He entered the house, the blind men approached Him and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I can do this?" "Yes, Lord," they said to Him. Then He touched their eyes and said, "Let it be done for you according to your faith." And their eyes were opened. (Matthew 9:27-30)

Reflection

Many people scoff at the idea of miracles. Unwilling to believe that Jesus could restore the sight of the blind when He walked on earth, they are unwilling to see the miracles that Jesus continues to work today. If we are open to the guiding touch of God’s hand and willing to discover His plan for our lives, miracles will happen. What prevents us from seeing and being a part of God’s miracles? Would we rather be blind?

Advent Action

Send a get-well card to someone in the hospital.


Prayer

Lord, clarify my vision that I may see You in others and sense You within my own soul.



19 posted on 12/04/2008 10:48:31 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Prayers offered up for our fellow citizens who have lost jobs and are facing hard times. May they find peace in this Advent season.


20 posted on 12/05/2008 10:06:33 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz
















 



Week 1: Saturday
 

The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater (like the light of seven days). On the day the Lord binds up the wounds of His people, He will heal the bruises left by His blows. (Isaiah 30:26)

Reflection

God, while His ways are still mysterious to us, is not on the sidelines of our lives. Just as Isaiah predicted, He has come, in Jesus, to bind up the hurt of His people, and through Jesus’ presence is still active in the world.

Advent Action

Find an opportunity today to be the hands of God, and "bind up" someone’s hurt. Say a kind word and listen with compassion to someone who is suffering.

Before going to bed, say a decade of the rosary for  your mother.

Prayer

Lord, flood me with Your light, and help me to brighten the lives of those whom I find most dark.



21 posted on 12/06/2008 8:59:25 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.

 

Waiting

 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.


 

22 posted on 12/06/2008 9:00:33 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
A bad snowfall and dangerous road conditions prevented many in this area from attending mass and church services to celebrate the lighting of the second Advent candle. We can be thankful for TV, radio and the Internet to provide the message.
23 posted on 12/08/2008 10:49:29 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: All
















 



Week 2: Monday
Immaculate Conception

Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, He comes with vindication; With divine recompense He comes to save you. (Isaiah 35: 4)

Reflection

In a world where political instability threatens long established order, where crime in our country seems out of control and unstoppable, there seems to be plenty to be afraid of. Isaiah reminds us that God’s power is beyond anything on this earth that could frighten us. "Be strong" and "fear not" this Advent.
Is having a frightened heart different that just being afraid? The kind of fear we have in our hearts is usually fear for people we love. God’s care encompasses them as well. Trust God’s power.

Advent Action

Send a Christmas card to a young person you know and care for. Remind them that you are praying for them, and remind them of the faith significance of the upcoming holiday.

Prayer

Lord, You are my strength and with You here, my own fears fade right away.


 

24 posted on 12/09/2008 7:34:32 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All


















 



Week 2: Tuesday

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; the abode where the jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. (Isaiah 35: 5-7)

Reflection

In Advent we celebrate the miraculous transformations Isaiah talks about: the lame leaping and streams of water bursting forth in the desert. We also celebrate seemingly ordinary events, the birth of two babies, John the Baptist and Jesus, that are part of the unfolding of God’s salvation plan. In every event of our lives, God is there, with His mercy and love and purpose. God desires that all should feel His mercy and love just as the desert sands would experience the overflowing spring.

Advent Action

Let God’s mercy and love operate in your own life. Make up with a friend or family member you have been fighting with.

Prayer

Lord, may I joyfully overflow the confining boundaries I have set to my love.


 

25 posted on 12/09/2008 7:36:37 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All



















 



Week 2: Wednesday

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Reflection

Are there burdens I can let go of? Sometimes we make other people’s problems our own. What burdens that are not my own can I give to God? Remember the old phrase, "Let go and let God."
But, at the same time Jesus offers comfort, He asks us to take on His yoke. To be "yoked" to Jesus means that we must walk in step with Him. If we are in step with Jesus, then we can hear any burden that comes our way. Jesus, and the graces we receive through His Church, share the load every step of the way.

Advent Action

Send a card to a friend or loved one who lost a family member during this year. Let them know you are praying for them and thinking of them this Christmas.

 

Prayer

Lord, I give over all my cares to Your most Sacred Heart that I may be at rest in You.


 

26 posted on 12/09/2008 7:38:00 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

I look forward with anticipation for the Nativity display to be set up outside church. They have the creche up now. Waiting....


27 posted on 12/10/2008 9:26:07 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz
















 



Week 2: Thursday

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it be force. (Matthew 11:12)

Reflection

Our world will never be bliss. We can say with Matthew, that from the days of John the Baptist until now, that God’s kingdom suffers violence. That is why we celebrate Advent over and over. We reassert that the violence we suffer in this world is not the norm, but only a temporary condition. That mystery of our faith is proclaimed each time we celebrate the Eucharist: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. We are grounded in this present world, but look to the world to come.

Advent Action

Renew your commitment to a special time of Advent prayer each day throughout the season.

Say a prayer sometime today for the Americas.

Contemplate on the miracle of the Cloak Of Juan Diego. 

 

Prayer

Lord, may I refrain from all violent words and deeds, and help make my part of this world a more peaceful place.

 


28 posted on 12/10/2008 10:19:14 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Regarding the creche structure outside church, when are the figurines placed inside? Do you know?
29 posted on 12/12/2008 10:26:54 AM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz

Our children had to wait until Christmas Even to put in Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus, the angels, the shepherds and the animals. Until then, it stood empty.

The three wise men were not added until the Epiphany.


30 posted on 12/12/2008 7:18:55 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 2: Friday
 

Thus says the Lord, you redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea; your descendants would be like the sand, and those born of your stock like its grains, their name never cut off or blotted out from my presence. (Isaiah 48:17-19)

Reflection

The use of water as a metaphor of God, or for any good thing, is common in Hebrew Scriptures. Who should know more about the preciousness of water than a desert people like the Israelites?
Isaiah says our prosperity will be like a river. Have we let God’s love flow over us like a river, or are we stingy when we imagine it? Do we imagine God’s love as a trickle or a torrent?

Advent Action

Send a get-well card to someone in the hospital.

Ask St. Lucy to help us not to be blinded our personal goals, but to always seek what the Lord wants us to do.

Prayer

Lord, wash me and I shall be clean, bathe me in Your loving mercy and I shall be truly forgiven.

 


31 posted on 12/12/2008 7:20:09 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

















 



Week 2: Saturday

Then the disciples asked Him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" He said in reply, "Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that He was speaking to them of John the Baptist. (Matthew 17: 10-13)

Reflection

Some among those who followed Jesus would not believe that He was the Messiah. They were waiting for the reappearance of Elijah, who Scripture said must return before the coming of the Messiah. In the same way, many of us have set up obstacles that prevent us from living as if the Messiah has already come.
What are we waiting for? What obstacles have we set up to prevent us from living as if our Savior has already come?

Advent Action

Make a phone call. Call someone you have been meaning to speak to, but for some reason you have not done so.

May St. John Of The Cross intercede in our prayers for peace on Earth. 

Prayer

Lord, in Your own way remove everything that makes it hard for me to see You clearly today.

 


32 posted on 12/13/2008 10:04:47 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 3: Sunday
 

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  two (purple) candles and the third (pink) 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.

Rejoicing

"(The desert) will bloom with abundant flowers and rejoice with joyful song." "Rejoice in the Lord always!" "Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!"

The Scriptures for the Third Sunday of Advent proclaim their message in no uncertain terms: Rejoice! Joy is all around us and our celebration of Advent calls us to discover it. The joy that the Scripture passages speak about is not a joy that equates with hilarious laughter. It is a joy that comes from a security with our God, those around us, and our place in the world. It is the joy Isaiah describes when he writes, "I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul." It is a joy that cannot be bought or obtained from artificial highs. It is a joy that comes from our living faith in a living God.

It is the joy we feel as we approach the birth of our Savior and remember the awesome beauty of what happened on that cold Bethlehem night.

Rejoice!

 


33 posted on 12/13/2008 10:05:46 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 3: Monday
 

When He had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached Him as He was teaching and said, "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?" (Matthew 21:23)

Reflection

The question of authority always followed Jesus. Different groups and individuals would try to ask Him difficult questions to trick Him and make Him look stupid in front of the crowds who listened to His teaching. It is clear that Jesus derived His authority from an unshakable inner knowledge of His relationship to the Father. Do we have confidence in our relationship with God so that we can speak the truth as we see it? Or do we expect the Church or some other authority to speak for us?

Advent Action

Make something (bake a cake, draw a picture, cut out a cartoon) to cheer someone up or as a means of sharing the spirit of the season.

Prayer

Lord, make me confident anew of Your great gift of faith that I may tell others of Your goodness.

 


34 posted on 12/14/2008 10:36:35 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 3: Tuesday

 
For then I will change and purify the lips of the people, that they all may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord. (Zephaniah 3:9)

Reflection

Zephaniah’s prophetic dream of unity seems no closer to reality today than when it was 2500 years ago. Even though our world enjoys many modern technological advantages over the world of Zephaniah, it seems that there is not technological "fix" for the human heart.
"Change" and "pure lips" require personal conversion. What have I done to promote "one accord" in the world? No matter how we might view ourselves, all people are equal in the sight of God. We are all His servants.

Advent Action

Examine your conscience. Are you continually turning towards God?

Prayer

Lord, purify me of everything, whether present or past, that hinders me from serving You.

 


35 posted on 12/15/2008 8:09:17 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 3: Wednesday

Turn to Me and be safe, all you ends of the earth, for I am God; there is no other! (Isaiah 45:22)

Reflection

We need to be reminded, just like the Israelite people in the desert who built a golden calf, that it is God who is God, not the idols we create. It seems that times are more subtle now. People melting down their jewelry to fashion an idol in a public place is not a common sight in our day. But we do, as a people, flock to certain places and events as if they were important: television sets, soap operas, celebrities. Do I live my day-to-day life as if a supernatural being is my God? Or do I live as if some earthly pleasure or diversion is? Where is my energy expended? Where is my time spent? Where do I turn?

Advent Action

Think of some possession you have that you can give away to the poor. Give to the Catholic Relief Fund or to some other charity.

Prayer

Lord, help me turn to You and let nothing take me from You, for You alone are my God.

 


36 posted on 12/16/2008 10:20:55 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 3: Thursday

Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken My love shall never leave you nor My covenant of peace be shaken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you. (Isaiah 54:10)

Reflection

Sometimes we take God’s promises for granted. We have listened to them so many times that their meaning makes no impact on us. But consider: "Though the mountains leave their place…" God’s love is so steadfast, there is no event that could diminish it. There is no action on our part by which He would consider us unworthy. Have we shared this good news with anyone lately?

Advent Action

Send a get well card to someone in the hospital.

Pray for those affected by war.

Prayer

Lord, Your wondrous good news of unshakable love for me, leaves me comforted and at peace.

 


37 posted on 12/19/2008 8:46:22 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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Week 3: Friday

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord has said through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with the child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel" which means, "God is with us," When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took his wife into his home. (Matthew 1:22-24)

Reflection

Joseph’s commitment to Mary and to the child in her womb caused confusion and pain. He was a devout and honorable man, determined to do what was right. He trusted what he heard God say in his dream and obeyed the command of the angel.
In our own lives our commitment to Jesus can cause discomfort, confusion, even pain. We must depend on God as did Mary and Joseph.

Advent Action

If you haven’t already done so, put up a crèche or some other symbol to remind you of the coming feast.

Prayer

O come, O come, great Lord of Might, Who to your tribes on Sinai’s height In ancient times one gave the Law In cloud and majesty and awe.

 


38 posted on 12/19/2008 8:48:22 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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December 2
0

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"  But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
 
[Luke 1:27 -31]

Reflection

What should Christians look like to the world in which we live? How could other people know by our words and actions that we are followers of Christ? What should make us distinctive and stand out from non-Christians? How can we be the light of the world and the salt of the earth as our Lord says we should be?

Advent Action

If we are to teach by example, make plans to teach someone  during the Holiday season. A child or friend could learn by your actions.

Prayer

Lord, clarify my vision that I may see You in others and sense You within my own soul.


 

39 posted on 12/19/2008 8:55:47 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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December 21

The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty Savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in His love, He will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Reflection

The reading from Zephaniah expresses in poetic language the boundless love God has for each of us. In some translations the words say "God will exult over you!" It is surely God’s desire that someday we will all be with Him in heaven. No matter what happened before, God is ready each moment to show us this love. The words of Zephaniah and our celebration of Christmas should bring us to a deeper awareness of how profound is God’s love for us.

Advent Action

Send a get-well card to someone in the hospital.

Prayer

O come, O Dayspring from on high And cheer us by your drawing nigh; Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death’s dark shadow put to flight.

 


40 posted on 12/20/2008 8:08:50 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

The darkest day of the year is here, Dec. 21st, the time of the winter solstice, but the light of hope shines brighter than ever as we light the fourth Advent candle.


41 posted on 12/20/2008 10:34:55 PM PST by Ciexyz
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December 22

And Mary said, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord: my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For He has looked upon His handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed." (Luke 1:46)

Reflection

Mary says that she is lowly, and also that all will call her blessed. How can both of these things be true? Mary’s lowliness was transformed by her faith in God’s promise as given to her by the angel. Through this faith she became the most exalted of God’s servants. Do we let God work with and transform our lives? Or, do we use our own "lowliness" as an excuse for inaction? Christmas is a beautiful time for re-inviting God into our lives and letting His power transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Advent Action

Make a "mini-retreat" to prepare for Christmas. Read the first and second chapters of Luke’s Gospel and spend some time reflecting on the story of Jesus’ birth and early life.

Prayer

O come, Desire of nations, bind In one the hearts of humankind; O bid our sad divisions cease  And be for us our King of Peace.

 


42 posted on 12/21/2008 8:31:50 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

The fourth candle is lit, how moving to see the lighting of it in church.


43 posted on 12/21/2008 9:52:49 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Salvation
Rejoice, rejoice, Ema-a-a-nuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
44 posted on 12/22/2008 9:19:25 AM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Salvation

Prayers offered up for those stranded during holiday travel in these zero temperatures across much of the country.


45 posted on 12/22/2008 7:19:29 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz

In this time of business in preparation for the holiday, may we take time to ponder the holiness of this Advent season.


46 posted on 12/22/2008 8:20:36 PM PST by Ciexyz
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December 23

4th Sunday of Advent
Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)

Reflection

For children, these last days of waiting are probably the hardest. The goal is in sight now, but it is still far enough away to make the wait seem endless.
When we are grown, waiting for Christmas is not a major problem. Nevertheless, as the day approaches even grownups feel the urgency in the air. As we anticipate the celebration of Christmas, let us look around us. Are those around us anticipating joy and happiness or loneliness and depression?

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 all 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.
 

Advent Action

Find someone who is not anticipating the holiday with joy and attempt to brighten their outlook.

Prayer

O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appears.

 


47 posted on 12/22/2008 9:32:53 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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December 24

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for He has visited and brought redemption to His people. (Luke 1:68)

Reflection

As soon as Jesus was born, visitors began to come. First it was the shepherds. Then the wise men. Then Simeon and Anna. Then even the soldiers of Herod were sent to find Him. Together these visitors represent the people of every nation, coming by every possible path and conveyance to see Christ.  These words of Zechariah’s Canticle, cited above, remind us that it was impossible to contain God in heaven. Through Jesus, He "visited" and "brought redemption" to us. He continues through Jesus and through us to dwell in our world today. When people look at us, do they think of Jesus?

Advent Action

Thank God for the gift of His Son, Jesus.

Prayer

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel. Lord, may we rejoice that Jesus Christ is born anew in our hearts and in our home. Amen.

 


48 posted on 12/23/2008 8:48:11 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Did I miss the Advent calendar for 2009 - do not see a link to it in current Caucus posts.


49 posted on 12/05/2009 7:16:45 AM PST by Ciexyz (The Lord is merciful and ever-ready to hear our prayers.)
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