Centering Thought: “I am the handmaid of the Lord- be it done unto me according to your word.”
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)
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.
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?
“God has chosen you, to make him known to others.”
— MED 146.2
from the Gospel of LK 1:26-38
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her
Resolve to be open to the Spirit working in and through you.
Student Reflection: Jaida Catalozzi, La Salle Academy, Providence, RI
How do I discern God’s call in my life? What am I being called to?
Fratelli Tutti: Brothers and Sisters All: A Call to Kindness
Kindness frees us from the cruelty that at times infects human relationships, from the anxiety that prevents us from thinking of others, from the frantic flurry of activity that forgets that others also have a right to be happy. Often nowadays we find neither the time nor the energy to stop and be kind to others, to say “excuse me”, “pardon me”, “thank you”. Yet every now and then, miraculously, a kind person appears and is willing to set everything else aside in order to show interest, to give the gift of a smile, to speak a word of encouragement, to listen amid general indifference. If we make a daily effort to do exactly this, we can create a healthy social atmosphere in which misunderstandings can be overcome and conflict forestalled. Kindness ought to be cultivated; it is no superficial bourgeois virtue. Precisely because it entails esteem and respect for others, once kindness becomes a culture within society it transforms lifestyles, relationships and the ways ideas are discussed and compared. Kindness facilitates the quest for consensus; it opens new paths where hostility and conflict would burn all bridges.