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Christmas
Epiphany

Fourth Week of Advent: God humbled himself to become human

Centering Thought: “God is able to do great things through the humble because humility is like a void that leaves room for God.” Pope Francis

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:

  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: O’ Come, O’Come Emmanuel!  (Instrumental)

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

“The miracle of God’s Providence take place every day.” (DLS-Blain)

A Reading

from the Gospel of Matthew 1:18-24

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.

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

The Encounter

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.

MDL/2018

Reflection

As we live in the holy presence of God…what “encounters” are we discerning of in our life

Additional Resources

4th Week of Advent (Lasallian Version)

Stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters