Our Advent Retreat at Home, the 4th week

Our Advent Retreat at Home, the 4th week
I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ or at least an openness to letting Him encounter them. I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.   @Pontifex

A Method for Daily Prayer

Find a place and time for these daily Advent prayers. Set the same time for each day (suggested prayer time of 5 to 30 minutes) and prepare by reading the selected passage for the day:

  1. Remind yourself that you are in the presence of God. Make a gesture like bowing or lighting a candle to signify this truth.
  2. Ask for a desired grace. Here, it could be the grace of drawing closer to Jesus during this season.
  3. Slowly ponder the words of the passage, drawing from it the truth or lesson that applies to your life. Relish this truth, mulling it over and over in your mind. Spend some silent time resting with this truth.
  4. Spend some time talking with God the Father or with Jesus or with Mary as one friend would speak to another. Speak about the insight that comes from your prayer or whatever are the concerns of your heart.
  5. After you finish your prayer ask the question: what has been given to me? Make the assumption that always in prayer something is given to me. You might want to write down what this has been.

Our Daily Reflections

  • On Sunday, I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation. The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort to make them more mission-oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open, to inspire in pastoral workers a constant desire to go forth and in this way to elicit a positive response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with himself. As John Paul II once said to the Bishops of Oceania: “All renewal in the Church must have mission as its goal if it is not to fall prey to a kind of ecclesial introversion.”

  • Monday, the parish must be in contact with the homes and the lives of its people, and does not become a useless structure out of touch with people or a self-absorbed group made up of a chosen few. The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers. It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a centre of constant missionary outreach. We must admit, though, that the call to review and renew our parishes has not yet sufficed to bring them nearer to people, to make them environments of living communion and participation, and to make them completely mission-oriented.

  • Tuesday, the parish is the Church incarnate in a certain place, equipped with all the means of salvation bestowed by Christ, but with local features. Its joy in communicating Jesus Christ is expressed both by a concern to preach him to areas in greater need and in constantly going forth to the outskirts of its own territory or towards new sociocultural settings. Wherever the need for the light and the life of the Risen Christ is greatest, it will want to be there. To make this missionary impulse ever more focused, generous and fruitful, I encourage each particular Church to undertake a resolute process of discernment, purification and reform.

  • After Christmas, as yet heaven and earth are not united. The star of Bethlehem is a star shining in a dark night, even today. On the second day the Church already lays aside her white vestments and clothes herself in the color of blood and on the fourth day in the purple of mourning. For the crib of the child is surrounded by martyrs. There is Stephen, the first martyr to follow his Lord to death; there are the innocent children, the babes of Bethlehem and Judah, who were cruelly slaughtered by the hands of brutal hangmen. What does this mean? Where is now the rejoicing of the heavenly hosts, the silent bliss of the holy night? Where is the peace on earth? Peace on earth to those of good will. But not all are of good will. For the Son of the eternal Father descended from the glory of heaven, because the mystery of iniquity had shrouded the earth in the darkness of night.

  • Prayer, God, our Father, you are the guardian and guide of our lives. Your word is joy, your will is life, your commands bring peace. Watch over and guide us as you did your Son’s earthly family. Through the celebration of this feast help us to respond to your word and will, that we may grow together as people of faith and enjoy the peace of your Kingdom. Amen

Upcoming Events

Eucharistic Ministers' Workshop
2017 Nov 26 - 09:30
Learn About Children's Liturgy
2017 Nov 26 - 10:00
Advent Parish Mission
2017 Dec 4 - 19:30
Advent Parish Mission
2017 Dec 5 - 19:30
Advent Parish Mission
2017 Dec 6 - 19:30