Fourth Week of Advent: Hearts on Fire to Live the Gospel of Christ!
Centering Thought: “Let us be present to the now. It’s all we have and it’s where God will speak to us. The now holds everything, rejects nothing and, therefore, can help receive God, too.”
-Fr. Richard Rohr
Welcome to Week Four of our Advent Retreat. This online retreat is offered with the hope that it will provide you with an opportunity to enter into a time of prayer, reflection and action during this season of Advent. The retreat has three parts:
- Presence: You are invited to enter into the retreat through silence or by song. This is a time of preparation to receive God’s word into your heart.
- Prayer: Following Saint John Baptist De La Salle’s Method of Interior Prayer reflect upon this week’s Sunday Gospel.
- Participation: How is the Holy Spirit calling me to enliven the reign of God in my life, my family, my community, and the world? God’s reign—one that is reflective of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and justice.
Light the Advent Candle as you pray “Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.” or “Let me remember that I am in the holy presence of God.”
Saint John Baptist de La Salle Method of Interior Prayer. The Sunday Gospel as reflected in the process of De La Salle’s Method of Interior Prayer. (DLS Method of Interior Prayer: Br. William Mann FSC)
First Movement: Remember God’s Presence
Pause for a few minutes to quite yourself and to remember that God is, even in this very moment, present to you.
- In all of creation, everything around you.
- In your very self, keeping you alive.
- In the midst of those with whom you are praying
- In the Eucharist and in the Word of God
- In you by God’s grace at work in your life.
- In the young and the poor.
Second Movement: Contemplate the Mystery of God’s love at work in the world.
Read today’s Gospel a few times slowly. What word or words especially catch your attention? Listen to what is being said; watch what happens; try to become part of the Mystery; lovingly contemplate Jesus.
- Reflect on the Mystery of God’s love at work in your own life.
- Does today’s Gospel have any relevance to your life?
- How do you try to share the message of this Gospel with those with whom you live and work? With those who have been entrusted to your care?
If you choose to allow this Scripture passage to come alive in you now, what would you have to change in your life? What are the obstacles to this change?
Founder’s Voice: “The miracle of God’s Providence take place every day.” (DLS-Blain)
A Reading from the Gospel of Luke 1: 39-45
Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”
Third Movement: Resolve to be open to the Spirit working in and through you.
- Where is the Spirit drawing you to sacrifice yourself today that others might have a happier, fuller, holier and more love-filled life?
Take a few minutes now to thank God for this time you have spent in prayer and to reoffer yourself, as far as you are able, to the accomplishment of God’s will…God’s plan.
The words of announcement…” I am here” were spoken…
the power of those words reached the ears of an unborn child…
his response was to leap for joy!
The mother’s discernment of her child’s movements inspires her to proclaim the arrival of the savior!
At this moment in human history…the presence of the Word is announced…the Word is proclaimed!
The promise of the covenant!
The fulfillment of salvation history!
The Word through which all was created is made flesh and will dwell among us!
The power of encounters…the source of revelations…the continuing hope for humanity.
Reflection: As we live in the holy presence of God…what “encounters” are we discerning of in our life