26 Nov 2016

27th November 2016 - Advent

On this weeks programme John, Lorraine and Shane reflect on the beginning of the Advent season and the opportunity it presents to us to reconnect and prepare for a meaningful Christmas. We have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel as well as other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks full programme HERE.

Advent - A time to reconnect with God with Mary

Lorraine takes us through a reflection this week on keeping Advent with Mary as we try to make space in a busy world to prepare for the Christmas season and gives us the example of contemplating with Mary using the rosary.

Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas. Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and hope:

  • Waiting: remembering the first, humble coming of the Lord as a little baby in Bethlehem while waiting expectantly on His final, glorious coming as Lord of History and Universal Judge.
  • Conversion: the liturgy at this time of the year reminds us of the importance of conversion – turning our hearts and minds back to God. When we turn our hearts and minds to God we are turning our back to sin and all that is not of God.
  • Joyful hope:  we trust that the salvation already accomplished by Jesus Christ and the reality of grace in the world will mature and reach their fullness. 

The person who can help us to wait, with hearts turned to God, in joyful hope is our Blessed Mother Mary. The Blessed Virgin Mary “is the model of how we should be living our advent. Mary is, in some sense, Advent personified. God the Father had prepared her from the first moment of her life to be a worthy mother of his Son. Like a faithful daughter of Israel, she had prayed throughout her youth for the coming of the Messiah. When she was a young girl, she discovered that she was part of God's answer to that prayer, but in a way that would far have exceeded any Hebrew maiden’s prayers: not only would the Messiah be her son, but her son would also be God.”  

Contemplating Christ with Mary

This Advent we invite you to journey with Our Lady, to walk in her footsteps. So how can we do this?

We read in Luke’s Gospel that when all events of that first Christmas were unfolding and the shepherds came to see the promised Messiah, she “treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.” So this Advent we invite you to allow our Blessed Mother to walk with you in contemplating the mysteries of her Sons life through the rosary. 

You can listen to Lorraine's reflection excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Prayer to Our Lady of Advent 
(Michel Hubaut, Franciscan)

Our Lady of Advent,
Mother of all our longings,
you who felt the child take form
in your womb, the Hope
of your people,
the salvation of God,
Uphold our corporal and spiritual
maternity and paternity.

Mother of all our hopes,
you who welcomed the Spirit’s strength,
giving flesh to God’s promises,
grant us to incarnate Love,
a sign of God’s kingdom,
through every action in our lives.

Our Lady of Advent,
Mother of all our watches,
you who gave a face to our future,
strengthen those who labour in pain
a new world of justice and peace.

You who contemplated the Child of Bethlehem,
make us aware of the unexpected signs
of God’s gentleness.

Our Lady of Advent,
Mother of the Crucified,
reach out to all those who are dying
and walk with them in their new life
in the Father’s arms.

Our Lady of Advent, Paschal icon,
grant us to joyfully keep a discerning watch
throughout our daily moments and so
to catch the comings and goings
of Christ our Lord.

UPDATE - Reflections for first Sunday of Advent

Loyola Press - Arts & Faith: Week 1 of Advent, Cycle A 
The Sacred Page - First Sunday of Advent, 2017!
NCR - Advent Is Mary’s Time - Preparing for Christmas With the Mother of God
Vatican Radio - 1st Sunday of Advent

Gospel - Matthew 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples:“As it was in the days of Noah,so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.In those days before the flood,they were eating and drinking,marrying and giving in marriage,up to the day that Noah entered the ark.They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.Two men will be out in the field;one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill;one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore, stay awake!For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the househad known the hour of night when the thief was coming,he would have stayed awakeand not let his house be broken into.So too, you also must be prepared,for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire

Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends 

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 1; first week of Advent

Saints of the Week
November 28th - St Catherine Laboure
November 29th - St Brendan of Birr 
November 30th - St Andrew
December 1st - St Declan
December 2nd - St Pontian
December 3rd - St Francis Xavier

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