Second Week of Advent: Jesus Christ: God’s Dream for Humanity Incarnate
Centering Thought: “Reality confronts us because “we should be indifferent toward nothing in this world.” God calls on each of us to contribute to its transformation.” -Lasallian Reflection 5: Great Things Are Possible
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:
- 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?
“Prepare a path for God so that he may enter into your life.” (MED 2.1)
from the Gospel of Matthew 3: 1-12
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
John wore clothing made of camel’s hair
and had a leather belt around his waist.
His food was locusts and wild honey.
At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,
and the whole region around the Jordan
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves,
‘We have Abraham as our father.’
For I tell you,
God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,
but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor
and gather his wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
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.
“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.
Excerpt from the blessing, ‘For One Who is Exhausted’
BENEDICTUS (Europe) / TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US