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Third Week of Advent: Hearts ready to proclaim God to the world today!

Centering Thought: Preach the Gospel often and if necessary use words.

-St. Francis

Welcome to Week Three 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Prayer: Following Saint John Baptist De La Salle’s Method of Interior Prayer reflect upon this week’s Sunday Gospel.
  3. 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.

Presence

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.”

Centering Song: Waiting in Silence: Waiting in Hope


Prayer

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: “God inspires us to walk in the steps of his son.” MTR 13.1

A Reading from the Gospel of Luke 3:10-18

The crowds asked John the Baptist,
“What should we do?”
He said to them in reply,
“Whoever has two cloaks
should share with the person who has none. 
And whoever has food should do likewise.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,
“Teacher, what should we do?”
He answered them, 
“Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”
Soldiers also asked him,
“And what is it that we should do?”
He told them,
“Do not practice extortion, 
do not falsely accuse anyone, 
and be satisfied with your wages.”

Now the people were filled with expectation, 
and all were asking in their hearts 
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying, 
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor
and to gather the wheat into his barn, 
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Exhorting them in many other ways, 
he preached good news to the people.

 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.

Participation

How am I being invited to keep the fire alive within me so I have the “fuel” to accept the invitations that Jesus is calling me to in my life?

FIRE by Judy Brown

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.

A fire
grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

 


Additional Resources

Advent, The Third Week of