Advent

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ADVENT SEASON 2020 What is Advent?

The word Advent is from the Latin adventus for "coming" and is associated with the four weeks of preparation for Christmas. Advent always contains four Sundays, beginning on the Sunday nearest the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, (November 30) and continuing until December 24.


Read Daily Advent Reflections.

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Nov 29, 2020
First Week of Advent
Let the hills sing for joy together before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity. (Psalm 98:8-9)

Waiting

We light a advent 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.


 

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MONDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT
Nov 30, 2020

First Week of Advent

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.

 

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TUESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT
Dec 1, 2020

First Week of Advent

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.
 

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Read Daily Advent Reflections.

WEDNESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT
Dec 2, 2020

First Week of Advent

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.
 

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THURSDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT
Dec 3, 2020

First Week of Advent

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.
 

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FRIDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT
Dec 4, 2020

First Week of Advent

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.


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SATURDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT
Dec 5, 2020

First Week of Advent

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.
 

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SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Dec 6, 2020

Second Week of Advent

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
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.
 

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MONDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT
Dec 7, 2020

Second Week of Advent

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.
 

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TUESDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT
Dec 8, 2020

Second Week of Advent

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.
 

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THURSDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF ADVENT
Dec 24, 2020
Fourth Week of Advent

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.
 
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