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Second Week of Advent: Hearts Prepared to Receive Christ!

Centering Thought: “The Advent messages are rich with joyous expectation and longing, insisting that God can and does bring forth life where none seems possible.”

-Sr. Chris Koellhoffer IHM

Welcome to Week Two 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: Wait for the Lord-Taize


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: “Prepare a path for God so that he may enter into your life.” (MED 2.1)

A Reading from the Gospel of Luke 3: 1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

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

“All flesh shall see the salvation of God!” LK 3: 6b

For your reflection:

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come, to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.

Be excessively gentle with yourself.

John O’Donohue

Excerpt from the blessing, ‘For One Who is Exhausted’
BENEDICTUS (Europe) / TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US


Additional Resources

Advent: The Second Week